Thursday, October 27, 2005

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.

There are so many parts of our lives that we give great importance that don't really mean anything in the long run. We get so caught up in our daily lives we forget what is really important. Bishop goes into the little things, and the big things, from losing keys to losing your home. She doesn’t discuss what she actually considers to be important, but merely how most of the things we hold closest to us are meaningless. And in the end it isn’t difficult to lose them.


Blogger Lilan said...

I think it's also cool in the last line how there's just a little hidden urgency, the "Write it!" Could this possibly be the poet's cry to urge others to express their loss through other poems or stories or diary entries? I could be wrong. Just a thought.

10:51 PM  

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