Love After Love (Poem) By Derek Walcott
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Love After Love Poem (Interpretation and Analysis)

– Love After Love Poem –

The unique Love After Love poem focuses on loving one’s inner self after a romance has ended. Its central idea is the idea of regaining one’s wholeness via self-awareness, healing that operates by self-conscious invitation.

Love After Love Poem (Interpretation and Analysis)

Andrew is a prolific writer on the subject and has a deep interest in all facets of poetry. Both print and internet publications of his poetry exist.

Being in a romantic relationship may be quite exhilarating. Learning to love someone else may bring about a unique sense of fulfillment, but when things don’t work out as planned and love dies, it may crush some individuals when the relationship ends, no matter the circumstances.

The book “Love After Love” sends the reader a clear message: You will love yourself once again. It’s only normal that you feel incapable after investing so much of yourself in the relationship, providing for the other person, and showing unselfish love.

But if you persist, your love will come back.

Love After Love Poem

This poem, which was first released in 1976 in the book Sea Grapes, has grown to be a favorite among self-help groups and workshop facilitators, who use it to encourage positive transformation in those who have lost confidence and self-esteem.

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.

By Derek Walcott

The cycle is complete when you consider that the poet’s personal experience comes through in the poem, which is then used to shed light on other people’s darker experiences. The poet himself stated that “the process of poetry is one of excavation and of self-discovery.”

Despite being a modern poetry, “Love After Love” was motivated by a poem that was written in 1633. The final words of the religious poem Love (III) by George Herbert, which is all about accepting love, are:

“You must sit down,” says Love,”and taste my meat.” So I sat and ate.


Analysis of Love After Love Poem by Derek Walcott

The poem “Two Friends” by the 13th-century Persian poet Rumi is especially noteworthy and might have served as an inspiration to Walcott.

The main takeaway is that every person has value and may learn to embrace and develop the parts of their mind that are far from them. It’s difficult to accept the challenge, but it is possible to learn to love oneself once more.

Stanza by Stanza Analysis

Love After Love (Poem) By Derek Walcott

 “Love After Love” is comforting, reassuring, and instructive. Sporadic short lines and single words hold together the poem’s loose structure and lacks a consistent rhyme pattern or meter (meter in British English).

The delicate caesura, which are gaps in the text that are both natural and punctuated, give the reader time to reflect.

The person would at once recognize an inner self and the necessity of a sort of reconciliation between the two halves, a rediscovered love.

A fragmented psyche can reunite and become whole.

First Stanza

He made this first stanza up of a series of reassuring words that are addressed to the reader and those who have firsthand knowledge via their own experiences, in particular. The long phrase that started it ends with a comma in the second stanza.

The lines get longer as the message that you will be alright in the long run and repetition reinforces that you need to love yourself and have a positive perspective.

This emotion will intensify every time you go home, stand in front of your door, and look in the mirror, exactly like in the verse.


Second Stanza

You could even revert to talking internally to yourself. The instruction is to sit. To eat is the goal. The requirement may come as a bit of a shock. Eat. Why eat? You and yourself?

Well, if you’re eating, you probably have an appetite, which implies more positive energy. It also means that you may engage in a religious or secular act of communion, which is a necessary first step toward self-love.

Note the reference of the stranger in line seven, which emphasizes the concept of a split in the psyche, as well as the speaker’s soothing tone in which she maintains the stranger will experience love once again. The stranger who was once you but has gone unnoticed.

The bread and wine, which represent the flesh and blood of Christ in the Christian communion, are used here to emphasize the humans engaged in this process rather than any deity.

We broke the unique syntax up by full and end stops as the imperative takes center stage.

The emphasis throughout this verse is on the stranger, the metaphorical stranger, that aspect of every person who loves without condition but who over time has lost heart.

Third Stanza/Fourth Stanza

Love After Love (Poem) By Derek Walcott

Enjambment moves the reader from the second to the third paragraph while keeping the reader’s attention on the stranger, the aspect of the psyche that suffered during the connection but is still the one who understands best.


The first practical step toward ultimately putting an end to the pain and alienation is mentioned in line twelve. Take love letters out, pictures out too. Take notes down. Presumably, before healing can occur, they must be eliminated or kept hidden.

This final stanza’s use of the term peel adds a new layer of meaning; rather than erasing your own image, peeling gently and methodically will allow you to finally sit and properly consume the wine and bread.

Do well to share this article with other poetry enthusiasts and you can also drop a comment in the comment section below.

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