Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Art of Losing...

A poem by Elizabeth Bishop for today - this one tears at my heart and permeates my every cell when I read it. It gets inside me in way that I cannot explain. Especially the last line, with the parenthetical "Write it!" - oy.

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 everyday. 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 things 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.

1 comment:

Lindsay said...

Alas, losing may ultimately be a disaster, but you won't (and didn't) break! As I've said before, we're more resilient than we think we are...