Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Poetry Wednesday, Vol. 85

One Art  
by Elizabeth Bishop

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.


Molly Sabourin said...

Kris, I'm fascinated by that poem. I love the style of it - conversational, yet multi-dimensional. What are the odds of Ms. Bishop guest hosting one of our poetry wednesdays to offer insight on her work - or Wendell Berry, Scott Cairns, T.S. Eliot, Emily Dickinson for that matter. ; )

Great choice this week! Thanks.

Beth Hanna said...

Ding! Ding! Ding! You hit the nail on the head! Losing is SO EASY!! I try to do what the poem says, lose at least one thing a day! Fortunately, my house isn't that big - for finding, that is!

Beth said...

Thank you for this. The essence of the poem reminds me of Merton, and of Christ, losing everything and realizing that it is not really the disaster we thought it would be. I have learned this in small ways as little fingers often break things I love or thought I loved. Peaceful rest of the week to you.

Julia said...

This is a favorite poem of mine, for sure.