Derek Walcott

Rookie (23 January 1930 / Castries / St Lucia)

Love After Love - Poem by Derek Walcott

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.


Comments about Love After Love by Derek Walcott

  • (6/28/2017 4:45:00 AM)


    Sublime and beautifully composed. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Joshua Adeyemi (6/25/2017 2:24:00 PM)


    This indeed a poem! ...... (Report) Reply

  • M Sagnik Das (6/4/2017 1:01:00 PM)


    it's touching and moving the reader to get back to one's own (Report) Reply

  • Baharak Barzin (4/10/2017 3:33:00 PM)


    It's touching and moving the reader to get back to one's own (Report) Reply

  • N. J. Saroff (4/4/2017 11:33:00 AM)


    this is my all time favorite poem. I first heard it a few weeks ago on NPR after his passing and I just broke down. His words are just well beyond any description I could say. This poem is inspiring and uplifting. His work is a must read by all poet. I read this on my best and worst days, its a reminder of what really matters. (Report) Reply

  • (3/19/2017 10:49:00 AM)


    A more beautiful and apropos depiction of a soul in life review, I have not seen. RIP to you beautiful word smith from the Caribbean....GOD speed you on your new journey. (Report) Reply

  • Valerie Hutchinson-morgan (3/18/2017 4:01:00 AM)


    One of my favorites. Thank you for inspiring and representing Caribbean writers.
    Now sleep on and take your rest. RIP
    (Report) Reply

  • (3/18/2017 12:40:00 AM)


    Your departure is saddening, Derek. The world is indebted to you for being one of them who loved its radiance. Rest in peace! (Report) Reply

  • Godfrey Morris (3/17/2017 6:40:00 PM)


    Amazing piece of poetry. Rest in peace great mind. (Report) Reply

  • Gerhardus Keen (2/21/2017 5:29:00 AM)


    We get lost easily when we rely on others to verify our existence. We forget the only person who stays with us throughout our lives. We neglect ourselves. (Report) Reply

  • Robert Murray Smith (2/4/2017 9:10:00 PM)


    A great write. Into my favourites quick as a flash. (Report) Reply

  • Mohammed Asim Nehal (1/24/2017 7:51:00 PM)


    A love not materialised needs to be accessed and reaccessed and figured out what went wrong. A nice poem. (Report) Reply

  • Tom Allport (1/2/2017 10:10:00 AM)

    tom allport
    a poem saying it's time to take stock of ones self and to move on. (Report) Reply

  • Aniefiok Fred (12/19/2016 11:34:00 AM)

    anguish expression by the author
    there seems to be much acrimony expressed by the author, he is in pains and feels that there is no need to love someone and vice versa
    the
    (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (12/2/2016 6:01:00 PM)


    The time will come
    when, with elation
    you will greet yourself arriving
    at your own door, in your own mirror
    and each will smile at the other's welcome,

    This reminds me of the song LOVE IS LOVE popularized by Boy George and the Culture Club.......
    (Report) Reply

  • Edward Kofi Louis (12/2/2016 11:13:00 AM)

    Love After Love
    From the mirror! Thanks for sharing this poem with us. (Report) Reply

  • (12/2/2016 9:19:00 AM)


    Wonderful poem. Getting in touch with your own self is one of the most needed task. Thank you for sharing. Loved it. (Report) Reply

  • Indira Renganathan (12/2/2016 3:05:00 AM)


    Too much of caring about others or for some other reason we tend to loose our individuality and self interest....later in life we feel for having missed our own life...very good thought crafted into a poem very well (Report) Reply

  • R Soos (11/22/2016 8:52:00 AM)

    Aging gracefully, without regret
    Stated so perfect. We are, after all, strangers to ourselves when we are young. After the years of hustle and bustle, we can Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who has loved you all your life. (Report) Reply

  • (11/20/2016 3:02:00 PM)


    (Love After Love - Poem by Derek Walcott.) Forget the past, and move on with one’s life. Great advice. (Report) Reply

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Read poems about / on: mirror, smile, love, heart, life, time



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Poem Edited: Sunday, July 31, 2011


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