23 May 2013

Poetry Thursday - One Art by Elizabeth Bishop

"One Art" - a "tree-assisted readymade" by Anya Gallaccio (read about it here)
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. 
(via www.poetryfoundation.org. If you're thinking you've read this poem on this blog already, you're right (and I envy your astute memory!) - this is one of my favourite poems, and it's my birthday, so please indulge me in the repetition.)

Elizabeth Bishop published only 101 poems during her lifetime. "Her verse is marked by precise descriptions of the physical world and an air of poetic serenity, but her underlying themes include the struggle to find a sense of belonging, and the human experiences of grief and longing. ... Bishop worked as a painter as well as a poet, and her verse, like visual art, is known for its ability to capture significant scenes. Though she was independently wealthy and thus enjoyed a life of some privilege, much of her poetry celebrates working-class settings."  


Maggi said...

An interesting poem, very thought provoking.

have a very happy birthday.

Sandy said...

Happy Birthday!
Poignant. We lost a tree behind our house this week. With the magpie nest and 3 large mistletoe balls all because someone thought someone told them that was the one to take. =-(

lisette said...

Happy Birthday, Margaret!

and thank you for the poem - I really really like Elizabeth Bishop. We need regular poetry in our lives!