One Art

This is a poem I return to again and again. Every time I love it even more. Bishop was a master of her craft.

One Art

The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.

--Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

Elizabeth Bishop


Anonymous said...

The art of losing isn't hard to master;

...as a Buffalo Bills fan I can really connect with this, where dahellya been sister?

teach people not books said...

i've been. . . around. it's been a rough couple months w/ some tough family news. i'll update you soon.

Anonymous said...

yeah figgered it was something, hey we're almost at xmas break at least. I hope the gig is goiong well for you as I am sure it is. Peace