Saturday, August 28, 2010

hard to master

cycling back home tonight, i lost one of my shoes on the way (i can hear you thinking now, 'how does a person lose one shoe?'. something to do with trying to live barefoot, but with a back-up plan...). in view of the fact that i only have the one pair, in view of the reality of our doubly unemployed budget, and in view of the fact that i simply love these shoes, it felt like a disaster.

it also provided the most perfect introduction to today's poetry...

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.

Elizabeth Bishop

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