Love After Love

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English 1B
Word Count: 1623
“The Stranger Who Was Your Self.”
“Feast on your life.” Every time I hear that phrase it sends goose bumps all over my body and chills down my spine. “Love After Love” by Derek Walcott sends strong messages through his multi-cultural upbringing. Walcott was raised in Castries, St. Lucia, an ex-British colony, that reflects a lot through his Caribbean culture in his poems. Mr. Housden believes this poem is about “alienation and belonging” and “homecoming and exile” and I disagree with that and also his opinion on the “stranger.” I believe what Walcott’s true intent of this poem was how through his life he has had to counter-balance both cultures in his life to try to meet at one point to both express his Caribbean culture and the British culture. When I read the poem, for some reason I want to say that this poem is about change. It’s about change in one’s inner self and wanting to get better so you can love yourself and allow yourself to love others. Through songs and personal experience I will show how this poem is more about change than “alienation” like Housden suggested.

Housden thought people might interpret the meaning differently depending on their own “experiences of alienation and belonging.” But I believe that this poem is about change in one’s inner soul. There’s a new song that just came out by Damien Marley and Nas called “My Generation.” In the song, rapper Lil’ Wayne has a short verse where he says, “I heard change starts with the man in the mirror.” When I heard this I could not help to think to go back to this poem where Walcott mentions “mirror” once at the beginning and once at the end of his poem as well. I believe looking into the mirror allows you to see your entire self and not try to cheat anything away that you are not. When looking into the mirror, look at yourself and see if you on the outside agree with the one on the inside. And if that’s not the case, you have some discovering to do,...
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