You can read this poem here.

I recommend having another look at Herbert’s Love III (here) (and there’s a wtak page about it here). If you do, you’ll see how intertextual Walcott’s poem is: how his evocation of the joy and wonder of self-acceptance leans into the imagery Herbery offered in his earlier text. Both use ‘eat[ing]’—and in Walcott’s case ‘feast[ing]’, too—as a way of referring to the sustaining power of love: love of self, love of others and the world, love given and received.

This poem belongs with this post because, at its best, counselling/therapy are ways in which we can come to ‘love again the stranger that was [our]self’. I notice that he says, not “come to love”, but ‘love again‘, which would suggest that self-acceptance is our original state, a sort of prelapsarian condition from which life events and damage (however unintentional) remove us. What a hopeful vision ‘Love after love’ offers, then: that we can come to know we are ok, or ok-enough, and thus be freed to live fully and ‘feast on [our] life’. Yes please.