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Quest for The Love Story With Walcott

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Still on the search for the answer to the question: What is a love story? This week on the quest, I am featuring Derek Walcott’s poem “Love After Love.” Walcott is a Caribbean poet. He’s known for his epic poem Omeros. But in this poem, Walcott is thinking not about the Homeric epic but about love. Read the poem and reflect on the his attempt to narrate the act of loving.

Thanks to A.K. for sending this my way.

To join the quest, read the introductory post: The Story That Loves

Love After Love
By Derek Walcott

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.

Photo Credit: Sketches of Existence

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Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

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