Poetry Friday: Elizabeth Bishop

January 17, 2008 @ 11:21 pm | Filed under:


Poetry Friday is hosted by Farm School this week. I found myself in (as often happens) an Elizabeth Bishop mood. Here is her villanelle, "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.

Read the rest here

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6 Reponses | Comments Feed
  1. writer2b says:

    Wow, I just discovered this poem this week for myself! I want to read more Bishop for sure. Thanks for posting this.

  2. TadMack says:

    Thanks – hadn’t heard this – it’s gorgeous and so true. Thanks for sharing.

  3. cloudscome says:

    I am taking her advice and losing something every day, accepting the fluster. What a relief!

  4. Kelly Fineman says:

    That’s one of the very best villanelles going (right up there with Dylan Thomas’s Do Not Go Gently Into that Good Night)

  5. Becky says:

    “Accept the fluster”

    Thanks for this, Lissa. You, and EB, knew just what I needed right about now. If I could needlepoint, I’d be tempted to stitch that on the pillow right about now. But she sounds so much more elegant, so much calmer, than I feel at the moment.

  6. Liz in Ink says:

    Aaaak. I just posted an original villanelle myself today and now, gulp, am reading Bishop’s. Something to live up to, to be sure….