Poem #9: One Art by Elizabeth Bishop

ebishopElizabeth Bishop (1911 – 1979) was an award-winning American poet. I enjoy reading her poems and really like her take on things. Enjoy One Art.  Amy Reads also featured a  Bishop poem in celebration of National Poetry Month (US).

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.

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.

You can discover more of her poetry at Poets.org.



  1. I have a feeling that I might not get all of the messages the poems you post as they are intended, but I do enjoy reading them. This one is another one of those. I think I might try to pick up a book of Bishop’s poems some day.


  2. Hooray for more Elizabeth Bishop! This poem has definitely convinced me that I need to go find a book with all of her work. I hadn’t read this before but it is so great! I love it 🙂


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