Love after Love, Derek Walcott – WOMEN in RECOVERY(Self-Love)



Love after Love



LYRICS


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 have 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, Collected Poems 1948-1984, New York, Farrar Straus Giroux, 1986.



Spoken word artist/poet Kim Rosen delivering Derek Walcott’s poem, “Love after Love” with music by Jami Sieber (cello).

The major West Indian poet and dramatist writing in English today. Derek Walcott has lived most of his life in Trinidad. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1992. Walcott has studied the conflict between the heritage of European and West Indian culture, the long way from slavery to independence, and his own role as a nomad between cultures. His poems are characterized by allusions to the English poetic tradition and a symbolic imagination that is at once personal and Caribbean.

“Poetry, which is perfection’s sweat but which must seem as fresh as the raindrops on a statue’s brow, combines the natural and the marmoreal; it conjugates both tenses simultaneously: the past and the present, if the past is the sculpture and the present the beads of dew or rain on the forehead of the past. There is the buried language and there is the individual vocabulary, and the process of poetry is one of excavation and of self-discovery.” (from the Nobel Lecture, 1992)

Derek Walcott was born at Castries, St Lucia, an isolated Caribbean island in the West Indies. His father, Warwick, was a Bohemian artist; he died when Walcott was very young. “I was raised in this obscure Caribbean poet,” he later wrote in a poem of his family, “where my bastard father christened me for his shire, / Warwick. The Bard’s country.” Walcott’s mother, Alix, was a teacher, born in Dutch St Maarten. She was very well read and also taught her children to love poetry.

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