Elizabeth Bishop

(8 February 1911 – 6 October 1979 / Worcester, Massachusetts)

One Art

Poem 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 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.

Form: Villanelle


Comments about One Art by Elizabeth Bishop

  • Bjpafa MeragenteBjpafa Meragente (12/20/2019 5:00:00 PM)

    The art of loosing and acceptance of decay is as it may. The inverse of boiling the lobster alive...
    Indeed a disaster. With unavoidable phases, no predictability mingled in a tapestry of danger, fight or flight, stay or depart, an art without reliable treaties or crush courses.(Report)Reply

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  • Kaniamudhu shanmugam (11/12/2019 4:33:00 AM)

    The final twist is superb. The poem maintains it’s tempo till the end.(Report)Reply

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  • funny (11/4/2019 7:02:00 AM)

    i love this poem it kind of reminds me of joker kind of edgy like that. im kind of like the joker in a lot of ways and this poem really resonates with me. im kind of insane if you dont know me and a lot of times people just dont understand the pain, ha ha. But this poem is perfect for me and i really like it thanks langston hughes for this master piece.(Report)Reply

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  • McGhee (11/3/2019 7:25:00 AM)

    Where is Mother to Son by Langston Hughes(Report)Reply

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  • Juwon DanielJuwon Daniel (9/23/2019 7:02:00 PM)

    THANK YOU ALL FOR BEING NOT JUST A READER BUT AN APPROVER OF GREATNESS.

    MY SINCERE APPRECIATION.(Report)Reply

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  • Shweta (8/6/2019 1:40:00 PM)

    I am touched(Report)Reply

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  • Adeeb AlfatehAdeeb Alfateh (7/3/2019 1:02:00 AM)

    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

    greatly writing
    great 10++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++(Report)Reply

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  • Brian (11/4/2018 11:26:00 AM)

    Nice poem. Loved it(Report)Reply

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  • Sunita Chandla (7/15/2018 4:51:00 PM)

    Quite insightful(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Mahtab BangaleeMahtab Bangalee (6/27/2018 3:56:00 AM)

    excellent versification-

    I lost, l lose and I will be keeping lose
    One day there will be nothing in me
    The expiration time will touch me and my veins
    Hottest and circulated active veins will be cool and inactive
    and gradually I will lose my activeness with my expiration time
    that is death, that is death and that is death
    or loss of one activeness!

    great writing(Report)Reply

    Adeeb AlfatehAdeeb Alfateh(7/3/2019 1:04:00 AM)

    really, really greatest and ever greatest writings; superb note on the lost or the death; it's really, really greatest poetic expression

    1 person liked.
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  • Roxanne HerreraRoxanne Herrera (6/11/2018 3:39:00 PM)

    https:m.poemhunter.compoemi-cant-be-sad check out my poems please ill really appreciate it.(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Faith thomas (6/3/2018 9:32:00 PM)

    Yessssssssssssssssssssss(Report)Reply

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  • Manas Jeena (5/27/2018 9:30:00 PM)

    Nice and good poem(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • Brenda breunig (5/12/2018 7:50:00 PM)

    Wonderfull peom(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
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  • uchenna (5/11/2018 3:16:00 AM)

    An excellent poem that has both surface and deep meaning, depending on how one sees it.The art of loosing isn't hard to master.(Report)Reply

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  • Shailaja Sharma (4/23/2018 1:57:00 AM)

    so beautifully put..(Report)Reply

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  • Sandra Feldman (4/19/2018 2:37:00 AM)

    We flow with it
    A poem not hard to master,
    Not loving it
    Would certainly be a disaster.(Report)Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • davya (3/7/2018 1:40:00 AM)

    oooooh, is good(Report)Reply

    1 person liked.
    3 person did not like.
  • Humairaa (12/6/2017 10:59:00 AM)

    Nice nd interesting poem(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
  • Nabil Sarker (11/17/2017 8:37:00 AM)

    Wonderful(Report)Reply

    2 person liked.
    1 person did not like.
Read all 71 comments »

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Read poems about / on: lost, travel, loss, mother, city, river



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003

Poem Edited: Thursday, May 23, 2013


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