Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Poetry Tuesday: "One Art" by Elizabeth Bishop



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

17 comments:

Larri @ Seams Inspired said...

I'm tucking this one away. It's a keeper. Thanks for sharing. Happy Tuesday, sweet friend! ☺

Catherine said...

Beautiful
xo Catherine

Tabor said...

Truth through pain.

Old Kitty said...

Love the "l" sound throughout - my tongue is lolling around the words!

Love pain behind the optimism too! Take care
x

Leah J. Utas said...

Aye. Good one.

Madi and Mom said...

Morning BB
How do you find such interesting and beautiful poems? Do you also teach Literature? Thank you for sharing. I had a wonderful English/Lit teacher in high school...ironically enough his name was Mr. Hamlett!!
Hugs Madi and Mom

Linda said...

The art of losing isn't hard to master because it's a part of life, and we have many opportunities to master it. But, if it's not a disaster, it sometimes feels like one.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

How does one master losing his mind though? That might be challenging...

Annie said...

It is a lovely poem and well worth remembering.
I hope you are having a lovely Tuesday Betty.

jenny_o said...

Thanks, Betty - I like the poems you choose.

Eva Gallant said...

Oh, I do like this one! Clever!

Ms. A said...

I think I have mastered the art. The only thing I can't seem to lose... is weight!

Baby Sister said...

LOVE this!! So awesome. :)

Daisy said...

It's been my experience that though we lose a lot of things over the years, that most of the time what we have lost is replaced by something new. Nice poem. :)

Wishing you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving, Betty!

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

You brought back some memories. We read this in Middle or High School. Of course, with accumulated losses over time, I appreciate it (as in I don't appreciate loss) even more now.
Hugs,
xoRobyn

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Betty - bittersweet ... with many thoughts over this Thanksgiving - hope you're spending it with loving family and friends ... with a few hugs - Hilary

SueAnn said...

The art of losing is hard to master...such a bittersweet poem!!
I loved it
Hugs
SueAnn