Love After Love
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.
Derek Walcott (1930 -2017)
S1 … a time of joy (hopefully) when you confront yourself … this is not a daily mirror glance … we see as we read the poem that this is an end of life reflection on who you really are … the face in the mirror who has known you all through your life now speaks back with a smile as you and your personified reflection welcomes each other … it is the door that opens to eternity … that time will come for all of us … but of course there is nothing stopping us reflecting at any stage on our journey … as we get older we have more to reflect on and we become more reflective as we slowdown in life.
S2 … it is only through life and living that you really come to know yourself … this person is a stranger at the start … at the end of life it is a time to love this person with wine and bread like a holy sacrament … the person that has loved you from the start … love being an inherent attribute in your creation – from a religious perspective
S3/4 … whom you ignored for another suggests a coming to a terms with yourself … in becoming you … who you really are … and independent of traditional trappings that define life such as letters and photographs … peel back the image that is you – your own image … then sit back and feast on you – forget those mistakes and all those parts not to your liking and celebrate your existence as you would sitting down at a table for a meal with a friend – that wonderful friend that is you.
Sir Derek Walcott was a West Indian poet and dramatist who died this year on 17 March. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1992.