Elizabeth Bishop

Everything and Nothing – Day Three


The Art of Losing

Thought of the Day by Maria Fokas

The Art of Losing

– Elizabeth Bishop wrote: “The art of losing isn’t hard to master.”

With so much losing every day, it seems that we should be accepting it as an inevitable end; but we rarely do. Every time we fall in love with a moment, a unique person, or that life long accomplishment, its fragile end is always near; it seems.

– But what exactly is it that we grieve; the moment, the person, the accomplishment; or is it ourselves within that loss? Everything we’ve ever loved, and lost, has shaped us into who we are. So there cannot be a complete loss in losing; I keep telling myself.

– I am grateful for War, and Love Poets; they take refuge in the pain of losing, knowing our lives depend on it. We plunge into those worlds and embrace the darkness. When it’s war, we mourn, and when it’s love, it’s a beautiful depiction of life. With their words, we realize that we are not alone in our losing; maybe, we even give meaning to our loss.

A Poet’s muse marks a moment by opposing every norm of its time; it elevates love as the essence of truth, rendering it more precious within the element of loss.

But, about this destined precious existence with an inevitable end; I don’t want to master this art of losing.

 

The art of losing


THE ART OF LOSING
POEM OF THE WEEK -

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 Bishop1911 - 1979