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

  • (10/20/2017 11:25:00 AM)


    You have not been narcissistic
    You believe in altruism
    You don't love yourself
    You love others

    And you are not happy

    Listen to the old uncle Ferek
    who has always been selfish
    he gives a fuck to the world
    when his self interests collide

    And he says he is happy
    Really, is he?

    Go stand before the mirror
    put on all make up
    rouge, mascara, eye liners
    put on your pink gown
    pour yourself some cabernet
    order some hot samosa
    with tamarind and mint chutney
    sit alone before TV
    sip wine slowly
    with small bits of samosa with chutney
    Uncle Ferek says you will be very happy

    And if not

    Go back to your mirror
    and go to the same rigamarole
    again and again.
    Have you not heard
    practice makes one perfect
    and more you sow the more you reap
    and the happiness lies within
    and god help those who help themseves
    and help no one, not even the poor
    the destitute, the most needy

    Don't see no one
    live alone but not like a nun
    have men you deisre
    dump them when you're done
    it will bring you independence
    you will be confident
    you will kiss no asses
    you' ll be a perfect woman
    the most satisfid
    the most self respectful
    though uncle Ferek 's
    nemesis would say, most hateful.

    Don't listen to him, no one
    do what uncle Ferek says.
    See how respectful is he
    he won the Yoble Prize
    and he loves no one
    except young women.

    You don't need any man
    you are self satisfied
    because you stand
    before the mirrors
    and look at your self
    for hours and hours
    and praise your beauty
    and if someone does not agree
    you say to him: go to hell
    go fuck yourself.
    (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • (10/9/2017 3:56:00 AM)


    A very fascinating love poem penned in so simple way.! Readers of all ages may appreciate the poem..! ...the photographs, the desperate notes,
    peel your own image from the mirror.
    Sit. Feast on your life...beautiful note..! Great
    (Report) Reply

  • Kathy09 Tara (10/8/2017 4:18:00 PM)


    My love life is balance thanks to Dr Trust love spell that brought back my husband and kids back home. Your spell is so real and genuine, yes he is back with all his hearts, Love, care, emotions and flowers and things are better now. E-mail him now ultimatespellcast @ gmail com.. or contact him of his website: https: //utimatespellcaster.com (Report) Reply

  • Kathy09 Tara (10/8/2017 4:17:00 PM)


    My love life is balance thanks to Dr Trust love spell that brought back my husband and kids back home. Your spell is so real and genuine, yes he is back with all his hearts, Love, care, emotions and flowers and things are better now. E-mail him now ultimatespellcast @ gmail com or contact him of his website: https: //utimatespellcaster.com (Report) Reply

  • (10/5/2017 9:04:00 PM)


    I know people will be complaining about their marriage, and their relationship, especially the women, they usually complain about their husband does not love them anymore, their husband is cheating on them and even their husband left them, but my case was similar to theirs, my name is Sonia, I am from Texas, USA, I had a very similar case with theirs, my husband, Walker left me with my two kids, for no reason, he said he does not love me anymore, he left for about 5 years, he never called me even my kids, I had a friend, Anita, she had a case similar to mine but her husband is now with her, I told her my problems I was facing, she told me about a great man that helped her to solve her problems, she introduced me to the great Baba ubeji, a man with great powers and kindness, he told me that my problems will be solved, so I believed, then after one week, it was unbelievable my husband came to me asking me for forgiveness, I accepted him, he has changed some much since when he came back, I just want to thank, the great Baba ubeji for his understanding and love, my friends if you are facing similar problems with me and even some other problem just email him at greatbabaubeji@gmail.com (Report) Reply

  • (9/27/2017 8:03:00 AM)


    As a desperate lady who recently separated from her husband, I have seen a lot of affirmative testimony online posted by people who got back their lovers via love spell. I also witnessed a breathtaking spell work on my BFF that brought back her boyfriend. Utilizing the opportunity at hand was the only option left because I strongly believed Dr. Philip can equally help me. Via Dr Philip’s email: (drphilipspelltemple@gmail. com) , I explained how my heart was broken by my husband whom I have been with for 3 years. He left me 5 months ago saying he no long derive fun in our relationship. While the 2 days spell was ongoing, Dr. Philip disclosed to me that someone else had a love spell on my ex which made him lose interest in me. But through Dr Philip's spell, she finally disappeared from his life forever. I’m overjoyed because I have my husband into my arms again and a testimony we share every day. Thanks to my BFF for the encouragement and to Dr. Philip for the genuine spell cast on us. (Report) Reply

  • (9/10/2017 11:53:00 AM)


    all your life, whom you ignored
    for another, who knows you by heart. (y)
    (Report) Reply

  • Subhas Chandra Chakra (9/3/2017 9:58:00 AM)


    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

    all your life, whom you ignored
    for another, who knows you by heart
    Yes this is the concept of Kasturimrigam..an ancient Indian concept of the deer that is in eternal quest of a fragrance that emanates off its own bellybutton.
    So is our nature of estrangement.
    Thanks poet for the beautiful poem.10+++ for it.
    (Report) Reply

  • Bharati Nayak (8/25/2017 11:50:00 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,

    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, - - - - - A deep philosophical write- - - - -We are strangers to ourselves- - -We do not realize that the love that we were searching elsewhere is really residing inside us.
    (Report) Reply

  • Rajnish Manga (8/22/2017 10:22:00 PM)


    Very insightful study of the muse of life in a romantic mood. Thanks. I would like to quote:
    you will greet yourself arriving
    at your own door, in your own mirror
    and each will smile at the other's welcome,
    (Report) Reply

  • (6/28/2017 4:45:00 AM)


    Sublime and beautifully composed. (Report) Reply

  • 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

Read all 70 comments »

# 44 poem on top 500 Poems

User Rating:
4,2 / 5 ( 185 votes ) 67



What do you think this poem is about?

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



Poem Submitted: Monday, January 13, 2003

Poem Edited: Sunday, July 31, 2011


[Report Error]