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One Art

August 21, 2008

One of my favorite poems of all time is “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop. It seems to suit my mood at the moment.

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.

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5 comments

  1. I’ve never heard this poem before Chloe, but I thank you for sharing it here. I think many of us will be able to identify with it on some level – I certainly do. Sending hugs and best wishes your way.


  2. Time drags us on, regardless of our dreams. I like this poem very much. At its heart lies a great deal of Zen. Catch me if you want to talk {hugs}


  3. *hugs* I hope this wasn’t inspired by someone…


  4. Phoenix: I think over time, everyone has to be able to identify with this poem. We can’t help but lose people, places, and things, and I think we have to learn to accept that if we’re to maintain our sanity 🙂

    Wolf: I need to catch you online sometime. It’s been quite a while. Seems like I get on too late (or too early) for everyone anymore.

    Tobie: I’m probably just moody right now. You know how I am 😉


  5. Very true Chloe. I shall make a copy of this poem to keep in my journal as it, and your thoughts on it, tie in closely with the work I did recently with my counsellor. Truly letting go of things I have lost has been one of the hardest things I have ever done. However, you are right – we need to accept it if we wish to keep our grip on sanity. {hugs}



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