Derek Walcott on Love (2 Poems)

The Fist The fist clenched round my heart loosens a little, and I gasp brightness; but it tightens again. When have I ever not loved the pain of love? But this has moved

past love to mania. This has the strong clench of the madman, this is gripping the ledge of unreason, before plunging howling into the abyss.

Hold hard then, heart. This way at least you live.

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.

-- Collected Poems, 1948-1984 (pp. 327, 328)

Anchor on Bowen's Wharf (Newport, RI)

Trinity Church in Early Spring (Newport, RI)