Tuesday, July 24, 2007

POETRY | One Art

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

9 comments:

Mailyn said...

OK, I don't get it. It's about the art of losing? LOL. :-P

Dark Orpheus said...

Yup. I think you got it just fine. :)

Dorothy W. said...

I love that poem -- I'm teaching it in class tomorrow, as a matter of fact.

Mailyn said...

Yay me! I'm so smart I scare myself. LMFAO.

cipriano said...

Very intersting poem, D.O.
Thank you for pointitng me toward it.

jean pierre said...

i really like this.

i like the changing and recurring rhythm. i also like the way it develops and changes.

Dark Orpheus said...

Dorothy: What a coincidence. Is it a class on Elizabeth Bishop or just using a few of her poems? Would you happen to have recommendations for Bishop? I'm new to her.

Mailyn: I think sometimes we take poetry too serious. They're not always deep and difficult.

Cipriano: You're welcome. Hope you like it.

jenclair said...

I love this villanelle and Bishop, too!

Dark Orpheus said...

Jenclair I just scanned the poem - OMG, it is a villanelle. Poor Mr Whitby (my old teacher for Practical Criticism) will hate me!