Poem – Derek Walcott

Spring 2009 064

I haven’t thought about the fact that I don’t copy any of my own poetry here. Except one. A long time ago. I had planned to do just that and comment on how I remember my frame of mind when I wrote it and/or what the poem means to me today.

But just now I looked over at the window sill behind me and a poem I framed several years ago caught my eye. I framed it because it resonated with me then. It resonated with my soul’s best intentions. It used to hang on the wall in my apartment in Düsseldorf; now it sits in its frame on my window sill along with a statuette of a dancer, a small plant, a candle and some cards.

This poem is taken from Derek Walcott‘s “Collected Poems 1948 – 1984”

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, who you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the lover letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.



  1. Dina said,

    May 21, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    This really touched me. It’s true, we invest so much time throughout our lives being the lovers of others instead of being our own.

    Such a beautiful and surreal poem…

  2. caratime2 said,

    May 21, 2009 at 11:28 pm

    So true. Life seems to go so haywire the more we live for others. The harder we project ourselves outside ourselves and try to please others, the more our own lives lose their balance and harmony.

    Here’s to reclaiming authenticity – before it’s too late.

  3. violeta said,

    June 12, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    Gracias.Lo había leído en español y en inglés tiene mucha más sonoridad.

  4. caratime2 said,

    July 6, 2009 at 8:50 pm


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