The Delphian has introduced this poetry section so students may submit their original poems to be considered for publication. Submit poems up to 250 words to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
This poem was written after Derek Walcott's "Love After Love," a poem that has been a solid support system in my life for over five years. The topic of that poem is self-love, essentially asking the reader to look inwardly and appreciate themselves, much like that age-old saying of "you can't love others until you love yourself." In my rendition, I wanted to shift the focus: learning to love the "other," and ask the reader to build connections with people you may have never talked to before. Sometimes, you come across a stranger who seems like they have everything in their lives together, almost to an inhuman extent. We all do it. But if we were to just approach them, learn them, speak to them, we could realize just how human we really are. Maybe some stranger is looking at you, wondering how you are so well-kept. Talk to them, have a conversation. These bonds are what keep us alive and grounded.
Stranger After Stranger
Matthew Van Praagh, Senior Statistics Major and Computer Science Minor
after Derek Walcott’s “Love After Love”
To the stranger who has loved you
all your life,
you are a spectacle,
although you have never met.
There is a person, no, there are people
observing you from afar,
with admiration in their eyes,
each craving a chance to ask you
about your life. Give them
that chance. Open up, move forward.
Approach those strangers with admiration in your own eyes,
Answer their questions, embrace their thoughts,
invite them through your door.
Host dinner. Break bread. Share laughs.
Make the stranger not so strange anymore.