One Art, Elizabeth Bishop, 1977
1. The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
2. so many things seem filled with the intent
3. to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
4. Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
5. of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
6. The art of losing isn’t hard to master.
7. Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
8. places, and names, and where it was you meant
9. to travel. None of these will bring disaster.
10. I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
11. next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
12. The art of losing isn’t hard to master.
13. I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
14. some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
15. I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.
16. --Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
17. I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
18. the art of losing’s not too hard to master
19. though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.
Elizabeth Bishop: The Complete Poems. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1980. Print.
Lines 10 - 11 serve mainly to