Friday, July 1, 2011

Paul Klee's drawing "Louse," created in 1940, near the end of his life.


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.




From The Complete Poems 1927-1979 by Elizabeth Bishop, published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux, Inc. Copyright © 1979, 1983 by Alice Helen Methfessel. Used with permission of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, LLC. All rights reserved.

3 comments:

Karin D'Aunoy (Peaceful Sun) said...

The art of loosing, I can so relate this past year I lost the use of my right arm, resigned from my career life, lost my father, had two hospital stays for my daughters pacemaker relocation and the greatest thing of all I married the Love of my Life. Today I'm in therapy and can move arm and each and every day gets better.
Thank you for posting this. I have so much gratitude today from loosing and gaining!

Andromeda Jazmon said...

This is a great one for me. I lost my job and my kid's school and a majorly supportive community. I am learning to master the art of losing! Hoping it won't be a disaster.

Mary Lee said...

Love and loss. Big stuff. Hard for it not to seem like a disaster, at least at first...