Love After Love

I am deep in the throes of Omeros (by Derek Walcott) right now. I am definitely in over my head.

Mended Heart Brooch by LittleMissBDesign

Every time I read this poem, or attempt to, I find myself stopping to swoon every fifth line or so (and thanks to Julie Barcroft for reintroducing the verb “to swoon” into my vocabulary.). The man has a Nobel Prize in Literature, so he hardly needs my approbation, but perhaps he would be willing to accept a little hero-worship. He did a reading at BYU once, and signed my copy of Omeros. (He looked at me and said, “You are a writer, aren’t you? Keep writing.” One does not wish to argue with a Nobel laureate.) Clearly it was one of the highlights of my book life. Anyway, because I love his writing so much, and because this is February, I thought I’d post this here. It will give you a taste of work before you decide to plunge into Homeric epic.

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 yourself.
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

Doesn’t it make you want to break your heart just so you can experience what he’s talking about as you read? Maybe that’s just me…

2 thoughts on “Love After Love

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