Thursday, July 28, 2011

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 


legend in his own lunchtime said...

Lovely poem and so true.

Sharon Longworth said...

This is one of my top five favourite poems, so it was a real treat to arrive at your blog and read it. Thank you.

Miss Whistle said...

Wally -- isn't it great? It's worth dusting off and reading every couple of months.

Sharon -- I'm glad I could oblige! x