In the gaze of the other

"My mistress' eyes are nothing…"

Derek Walcott ‘ s “Love on Love”

1 Comment

LOVE AFTER LOVE

image

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

One thought on “Derek Walcott ‘ s “Love on Love”

  1. all your life, whom you ignored
    for another, who knows you by heart.
    Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

    I love this stanza for its ambiguity. Who is the “whom” ignored, the “another” or the self? And who knows “whom” by heart, the other or the self? Knowing by heart is like knowing so well, by rote almost, but also knowing by and through the heart, the other knowing the heart of the self/writer. Both of those, knowing so well and knowing the heart, bespeak long term relationship, which everyone has with him or her self.

    Such a delightful poem–“feast on your life.” Be nourished by all you are. Peace.

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