Romola Garai read poetry at St George’s on Monday, September 19. Luckily for Jonathan Davidson, the special guest, she went second because no matter how lovely his poetry was, it would have been difficult to compete with the smoldering and sensuous tones of the young actress.
The most surprisingly sensual poem of all was about a pint of stout. The most inspiring poem about love was by Derek Walcott.
It was all a bit surprising but it was a real pleasure to discover some poets of whom I’d never heard before. The following was my favourite.
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 have 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.
Derek Walcott, Collected Poems 1948-1984, New York, Farrar Straus Giroux, 1986.