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WALCOTT, Derek



Map of the New World: I. Archipelagoes

At the end of this sentence, rain will begin.
At the rain's edge, a sail.
Slowly the sail will lose sight of islands;
into a mist will go the belief in harbours
of an entire race.
The ten-years war is finished.
Helen's hair, a grey cloud.
Troy, a white ashpit
by the drizzling sea.
The drizzle tightens like the strings of a harp.
A man with clouded eyes picks up the rain
and plucks the first line of the Odyssey


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.