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

  • (11/4/2018 11:26:00 AM)


    Nice poem. Loved it (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
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  • (7/15/2018 4:51:00 PM)


    Quite insightful (Report) Reply

  • Mahtab 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

  • Roxanne 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

  • (6/3/2018 9:32:00 PM)


    Yessssssssssssssssssssss (Report) Reply

  • (5/27/2018 9:30:00 PM)


    Nice and good poem (Report) Reply

  • (5/12/2018 7:50:00 PM)


    Wonderfull peom (Report) Reply

  • (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

  • (4/23/2018 1:57:00 AM)


    so beautifully put.. (Report) Reply

  • (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

  • (3/7/2018 1:40:00 AM)


    oooooh, is good (Report) Reply

  • (12/6/2017 10:59:00 AM)


    Nice nd interesting poem (Report) Reply

  • (11/17/2017 8:37:00 AM)


    Wonderful (Report) Reply

  • Glen Sales (9/13/2017 1:52:00 AM)


    Awesome! one of the best poems I like most. truly it illustrates the silence that surrounds every word. (Report) Reply

  • (8/22/2017 11:37:00 PM)


    beautiful poem...The persistence of living ever after a loss especially if what is lost can be replaced (Report) Reply

  • Sylvaonyema Uba (2/19/2017 11:49:00 PM)


    So many things seem filled with the intent

    Well communicated.

    Sylva
    (Report) Reply

  • (1/3/2017 11:53:00 AM)

    tom allport
    a lot of things we lose and then we cope, it is all part of being alive. (Report) Reply

  • (3/19/2016 10:21:00 AM)


    A most elegant Villanelle from a writer certainly mastered poetic language. (Report) Reply

  • (3/11/2016 10:15:00 AM)


    Art, loss, mastering. Nothing can be mastered in our lives, least of all in art. But Art (write it!) gives us the best way of coping with disaster and emotional ruin that it entails (write (right) it!) . (Report) Reply

  • Judy Meibach (2/18/2016 11:13:00 PM)


    This is by far one of the most profound poems I have ever read - it is my favorite - while I find the villanelle to be a little bizarre, this particular piece is extraordinary, in all its best - it was used in an American film last year that talked about Alzheimers - and worked so beautifully in this realm (Report) Reply

Read all 63 comments »

# 59 poem on top 500 Poems

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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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