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Love After Love

I have thought about this poem a lot lately. It just keeps popping into my head during quiet times. It is a beautiful poem by Derek Walcott. Whenever I read it, it reminds each moment is a fresh beginning and it passes with its own truth contained within it.

As I mature, I get a sense of both getting to know me better and, at the same, realizing how little I know about myself. These feelings would feel counter-intuitive if they did not feel so right.

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 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.


About ivonprefontaine

I completed a PhD at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Previously, I taught for 20 years and taught for 15 years in a wonderful hybrid school. My dissertation topic and research were how certain teachers experience becoming who teachers. In teaching and leanring, I am a boundary-crosser who understands moving ahead is a leap of faith. Teaching is a calling and vocation to express who I am as a person. Currently, I am waiting and listening to what calls me next. I am an educator, phenomenologist, scholar, boundary-crosser, published poet, author, parent, grandparent, and spouse.

30 responses »

  1. Oh, thank you for reminding me of this gorgeous poem, Ivon. I haven’t read it in years, after reading it so often for awhile that I had committed some of it to memory. Here’s to feasting on our lives….

  2. Lovely poem…reminds me of this by TS Eliot…”We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” The lovely gift of aging, of truly seeing and accepting ourselves, is the doorway into our wisdom. Grateful for my life and that includes my wisdom and what is unknown and lies ahead. Lovely post. Thank you for this reflective moment. 😉

  3. Beautiful…thanks for sharing

  4. Wonderful finding this here just now in my life. I had not read it before.

  5. I got tears in my eyes. Because this poem is so strong and real and true – I will print it and I will put it up on my wall. The wall I need to break throuhg to admit that I didn’t do a good job acknowledging that stranger – who’s me. Thank you so much for this post!

  6. Dear Ivon, this moving poem has been very close to my heart in the last couple of months of my life too, coming up regularly in the quiet moments. It does feel right. Thanks for sharing it here! All the very best for the journey. True touch from Self to Self.

  7. Much needed at this hour. Thanks Ivon

  8. I came across that poem a few years back. It’s one of my favourites. Thanks for the reminder!

  9. Very moving! Thanks for sharing it! 🙂

  10. Definitely a coming of mature age. I like.

  11. permission. That’s the word in mind here–besides lovely. You have a knack for sleuthing the eloquent phrase.

  12. As Doris Lessing once said – “You suddenly understand something you’ve understood all your life, but in a new way.” It is so hard to let our memory rest.


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