In New York

In New York

Sunday, 23 January 2011

One Art by Elizabeth Bishop

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 practise 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 beloved 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!) a disaster.

(With thanks to Phil, who shared this one with me.)


  1. This is luverly, thoughtful, insightful and bang on the money in so many different ways....a shop where there is something for everyone.

    "Ta "an" athas orm an cailin seo a glachagh"


  2. Go raibh maith agat Roch. Still a great line by the way. The first time you said it, I think we had been married about four hours!