By Fraser McAlpine | Posted on April 11th, 2014
Tom’s choice is a poem called Love After Love by Derek Walcott, and according to the extract published in Marie Claire, he has this to say about it:
“I read this poem often. Once a month at least. In the madness and mayhem of modern life, where every man seems committed to an endless search for approval and esteem of his fellows and peers, no matter what the cost, this poem reminds me of a basic truth: that we are, as we are, ‘enough.’
“Most of us are motivated deep down by a sense of insufficiency, a need to be better, stronger, faster; to work harder; to be more committed, more kind, more self-sufficient, more successful. We are driven be a sense that we are not, as we are, ‘enough.’ But this short poem by Derek Walcott is like a declaration of unconditional love. It’s like the embrace of an old friend. We are each of us whole, perfectly imperfect, enough.”
Love After Love
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.