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One Art
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.

 

 

–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.

 

I lose stuff all the time…clothing, keys, cell phone, I-Pod, all that stuff, to my family’s dismay. The art of losing isn’t hard to master. It is no disaster because all of that material can be replaced. Forgetting names, places….can be disgruntling but is no disaster.  You miss these things (a city) but “it wasn’t a disaster”. BUT losing someone, the little things (a gesture etc.) is disaster.

 

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