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  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
(deleted comment)

Re: Pome.

Date: 2010-09-29 05:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] happybat.livejournal.com
I like the shape of it, very much. I think I like the idea that losing stuff is something you can learn to be good at, too.

Date: 2010-09-29 06:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] anotherusedpage.livejournal.com
Ohh. Oh thankyou for posting this. I think I need to print it out and post it up somewhere. *smile*

Date: 2010-09-29 09:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] happybat.livejournal.com
It's that last line that does it for me...

Date: 2010-09-29 06:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] squintywitch.livejournal.com
Makes me cry, this one. The last verse is almost painful... I have it in a book facing the one that begins: 'heart be kind and sign the release/as the leaves their loss approve/learn as leaves must learn to fall/out of danger, out of love'. Another one guaranteed to break me!

Date: 2010-09-29 09:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] happybat.livejournal.com
Hurrah for poems to sob into!

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