After Walcott

When I first read the opening lines of ‘Love After Love’,
I knew your poem would fit me like a glove;
I felt I might have met you in a previous life
so deeply cut your poetic knife.
You taught me to look into a mirror
with elation. The future is clearer
as I feast on photographs and letters
and I have come to know myself better.
No longer a stranger in my own skin,
I write about emotions I once held in
and realise my writing and I are not apart:
I am myself a poem I have learnt by heart.

Kim M. Russell, 2018

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My poem for Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Weekend Mini Challenge: The Heroic Couplet

This weekend I’m hosting the weekend Mini Challenge with the Toads. I’ve been reading A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms by Mark Strand and Eavan Boland, entitled The Making of a Poem, and learning about heroic couplets. The only modern examples I could find were in the book and, according to Wikipedia, twentieth century authors have occasionally made use of the heroic couplet, often as an allusion to the works of poets of previous centuries. Which is why my challenge is to write a short-ish (no longer than 30 lines) modern poem in heroic couplets about a favourite poet or one of their works.


22 thoughts on “After Walcott

  1. What a book we could compose, assembling poems that honor and welcome other poets who have touched us so — and what an education it would be … I love your final line and yes, what these poets and poet-poems have taught us is “I am myself the poem I have learnt by heart.” They lead us deepest into ourselves, saying themselves so well. Thanks for the remembrance of Walcott — such Caribbean mellufluence, in the ear he schooled in me — for this poem, and for the challenge. Well and well and well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Marian. It was a poem I introduced to GCSE students some years ago and we had great discussions about it – it was my favourite group and one of my favourite poems to teach..


  2. Yes, it may fit you well. But I don’t know. I liked your poem from the start, ‘the moment I read the opening lines I knew’ for my self also of yours. To me Walcott says, “self, if not me then you approve of yourself.”

    Liked by 1 person

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