Monday, September 14, 2009

Being Elizabeth Bishop

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.
The art of losing seems akin to embracing our fears.


Marion said...

Now you're talking my language, Judith. I was just reading this poem a few days ago. It's one of her best, I think. Love & Blessings!

Judith Ellis said...

It's beautiful, isn't it?

septembermom said...

Elizabeth Bishop is one of my favorites. Judith, I also see the correlation here with embracing our fears. The fear of loss does not have to paralyze life.

You know I appreciate getting this poetry gift right now. An awesome poem while I eat my lunch is much appreciated :)

Judith Ellis said...

I love your comment, Kelly. It made me smile. Thank you.

Linda S. Socha said...

I so like this one.Bishop is one of my favorite poets. I was reading it last week...It is beautiful and a heart
truth Judith

Judith Ellis said...

Happy you popped in Linda and enjoyed Bishop. I love her voice.