One Art

from by Eliot Wilder

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Words: 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
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
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


from Barbaric Poems, released March 11, 2017



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Eliot Wilder Boston, Massachusetts

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