One Art Poem by Elizabeth Bishop

One Art

Rating: 4.6


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.

One Art
COMMENTS OF THE POEM

There should NOT be an a before disaster in the last line. Please make this critical correction.

87 32 Reply
Anon Amys 09 September 2015

where do you mean?

0 0 Reply
Jan Hauck 16 April 2012

I can see why this poem gets such high ratings and it is good. For me personally it is still one step away from perfection because the form of a Villanelle hasn't not quite been followed through with.

19 63 Reply
Anon Amys 09 September 2015

that's deep

0 0 Reply
Frida Sloth 04 July 2010

every day you lose something, small things such as car keys. little things that doesn't make your day or life a total dissaster. then one day it could happen to you that you would loose something valueable. something that will make you life a dissaster. it might not take a day. day after day you will loose this thing bit after bit and suddenly it dissapears. this thing is called love. it's not the love to a lover. it's the deepest love of all. it's the love to a friends. Think about how it would be to you, loosing your friends joking voice, or your friends smile, the little things there is with this person that makes you love that person even more. that would be a dissaster, wouldn't it?

37 31 Reply
Doris Cornago 15 March 2022

There needs to be some end to disasters, a questioning, but we are not allowed to do that and so, we just need to reinvent ourselves.

0 0 Reply
Frank Ammerlaan 10 September 2021

I keep losing stuf yet here I am.

0 0 Reply
Sandra Feldman 28 July 2021

So deep and true, and written to perfection. I love poem that make you feel and think at the same time! And here we have one of the best. Just great.

0 0 Reply
Sylvia Frances Chan 28 July 2021

A small masterpiece to read and containing the most important fact: The art of losing is not hard to master, so very true, masterous poem by an insightful mind, a Beautiful mind!

0 0 Reply
Rose Marie Juan-austin 28 July 2021

A wonderful poem well crafted and well expressed imbued with insight.

0 0 Reply
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Elizabeth Bishop

Elizabeth Bishop

Worcester, Massachusetts
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