Poetry Friday: Love after Love

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Kate Roberts and Chris Lehman have just written a new book, Falling in Love With Close Reading. For the past seven weeks, they have been hosting a blog-a-thon to celebrate their book’s publication. Last week, Kate’s contribution on her blog, Indent, was about closely reading her life. She shared a few the insights and revelations she gained by spending one day being truly observant of her actions and reactions. One of her statements resonated with me:

“Chris and I believe that the skill of reading our world closely allows us to live richer, more beautiful lives.”

This line made me think of an episode of Krista Tippett’s On Being which featured an interview with Jon Kabat-Zinn about the science of mindfulness. At the end of the interview, Zinn shared this poem.

“Love after Love”

by Derek Walcott

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…

Read the rest of the poem and learn more about Jon Kabat-Zinn here.

Only through knowing ourselves can we be open to the love of others and fully love them in return. Thank you, Kate and Chris, for reminding me of this. Thank you for helping me find my way back to this poem. For poetry is all about reading our world closely. Poetry allows us to live richer, more beautiful lives.

Be sure to visit Cathy Mere at Merely Day by Day for more enriching poetry.

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8 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: Love after Love

  1. So beautiful. So true. Thank you for reminding me of this poem today. I am going to copy it into my notebook. Being present matters. For ourselves and others. And texts too. I’m going to check out this book. Happy Poetry Friday… a.

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  2. Derek Walcott is a poet I always mean to read, but really haven’t yet. I guess it’s the Caribbean connection that makes me feel drawn to his work. I’ve got to look for more of it. I love On Being!

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  3. Catherine,
    I love the way you weaved the idea of close reading into a way of thinking — not just close reading, but close living. I enjoyed your poem and sometimes need to be reminded to find the good things within myself. It is easy to feel like we aren’t doing enough, being enough, accomplishing enough. I will revisit this one.

    Cathy

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  4. I always share this poem for lovely friends’ birthdays. There is just something so beautiful about ‘feasting on one’s life’ that never fails to move me. If there was a way to share a photograph through a WordPress comment I would have loved to share this same poem with you which I photo-edited using an iPhone app so that there is a frame to the words. 🙂

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  5. I just saved this poem in my electronic poetry folder, but I’m thinking I need to do what Amy did and actually copy it into my notebook. And since I’m close to the end of a notebook, maybe I’ll copy it into the beginning of the next one, too. Thanks for this gift and this reminder.

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  6. Wow – what a beautiful poem! I did practice mindfulness for awhile, but I am mindful that I have forgot my mindful ways. I’m of a good mind to be mindful again. Thank you!

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  7. I hope I’m not too late to be wowed by this flow of thought and by Walcott’s poem…it’s posts like these that make Poetry Friday a spiritual practice for some of us, even if we don’t exactly expect that. Thanks,

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