Friday, November 5, 2010

A Poem I Wish I Had Written

One of my favorite things is to find a poem so beautiful, so elegantly expressed that I want to read it over and over, tasting the delicate combination of words and phrases and feeling it internally like an affirmation. This wonderful poem by Derek Walcott is just such a poem. I think it speaks deeply to a yearning we share to come to a peaceful, loving place where we forgive ourselves for shortcomings and flaws. I especially love the last line. I hope this speaks to you.

Love after Love

The time will come
when, with elation,
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door,
in your own mirror,
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 nots,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

--Derek Walcott


  1. When exactly will this happen??
    It's so hard to sort out life's priorities--especially to make time for self-acceptance. So many desperate nots.

  2. It's hard, isn't it? I guess I believe it's not so much a matter of time as it is a decision, maybe one that must be made every morning! It's pretty common, though not very wise, to not think much of blame ourselves for not being better or smarter or more motivated. I am trying to be a much better friend to myself these days, to love the image in the mirror more. Believe me, that's not easy these days but I am trying.

    Love you!

  3. I'm with you, Mom...and I'm working on it, too. It's a beautiful poem (though I'm partial to the one you wrote for me).