Poetry really can save your life. That’s what Kim Rosen says in Saved by a Poem. And she’s right. I know. I am saved almost daily by the Sufi mystical poet, Hafiz, or David Whyte or, Derek Walcott. Today, I learned from my good friend, The Writer’s Almanac, is Derek Walcott’s birthday. A celebration is in order, don’t you think?
Here’s a Derek Walcott poem that saved my life. I love it so much I painted it in white chalk paint on an indigo wall in my bathroom. These words bless me every day.
Love After Love
The time will come
When, with elation,
You will greet yourself arriving
At your own door, in yoru 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 image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
Aaaah, I feel saved just reading that as I type. What poem saved or continues to save your life?