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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A poem I love …

A poem by Elizabeth Bishop that I adore.
I realized that it needed to be shared with a few friends today.

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.


I had kept it marked in my Poetry Speaks book in the hope of 'never having to put it on' … but after this morning it seemed that, like her poem - written when her friend had committed suicide - this had to be put on the blog.

The picture I 'manufactured' to go with it is not possible to put on now ... but it makes no difference.

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Anonymous Komal said...

This was the poem that introduced me to Bishop. Never gets old for me - thanks for posting it.

11 May, 2010 17:51

Blogger Zakintosh said...

It was a terrible morning … but thank the day that it got over soon and the person is around.

It's been that way before with another friend, too. Guess my job is to save people from committing themselves to death at an early age when there's much more to be done to their lives.

14 May, 2010 11:23

Blogger Mars said...

this poem has helped me out on more than on occasion.

It is no small job that described- there is a need for more friends like you.

thanks for sharing

17 May, 2010 14:11


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