Monday, May 18, 2009

For René

This is the Elizabeth Bishop poem that I posted in the sidebar yesterday. I'm glad you wanted to see it again, because it's one I would like to keep track of.

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 beloved 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!) a disaster.

Elizabeth Bishop

5 comments:

René Wing said...

Oh yes-- great poem... so many things lost. thanks for that! Off to work now!

John Hayes said...

Thanks, Sandra-- I'm also glad you posted that again-- it's a fantastic poem.

Sandra Leigh said...

Confession - I thought of it because I watched "In Her Shoes" with Toni Collette and Cameron Diaz - the other day. "One Art" was a plot point. btw, it's a good movie.

Reya Mellicker said...

Losing is easy. Letting go on purpose? That's the hardest art of all.

Thanks for this. It's beautiful.

Sandra Leigh said...

Reya, I keep coming back here, wanting to respoond to your comment, but going all teary and not being able to see to type. I guess you must be right. Whew. Got through it, that time.

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