none of these will bring disaster

by Elizabeth Bishop
from The Complete Poems 1927-1979

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.


Filed under Poetry Month 2012

3 responses to “none of these will bring disaster

  1. Lilly

    Faces, names, houses, books, music and cities transport into our internal geography, to become our fondest memories.

  2. Julie von Zerneck

    The art of loosing things…. a good thing to remind ourselfs of.

  3. Maggie King

    This is sad, but I thank you for being there for all these years. I remember all your locations, the two Toluca Lake ones and your present home. It was (is) a very special place.

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