Loss Poems - Poems For Loss

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One Art - Poem by 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.

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.

Comments about One Art by Elizabeth Bishop

  • Rookie - 0 Points Virgil Watts (5/26/2015 8:56:00 PM)

    My favorite aspect of this poem is the way in which Bishop uses litotes to establish that the art of losing, while it isn't hard to master (i.e. loss is a natural aspect of life) , also is not necessarily easy to bear. I've also always been fascinated by the interjection of Write it! in the final line, which, to me at least, adds a more visceral and emotional weight to the poem which leaves the categorical statement repeated throughout (The art of losing isn't hard to master) somewhat unresolved. (Report) Reply

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  • Rookie - 0 Points Julie Heath (10/27/2014 5:18:00 AM)

    we're all seeking to master the one art of loss, to master disaster, to eventually care less. (Report) Reply

  • Silver Star - 3,852 Points John Richter (10/21/2014 2:03:00 PM)

    I think this is an amusing, playful little poem about losing things, where Elizabeth is exemplifying quite dramatically not so much the art of losing, but rather realizing the affect it has upon us, especially when trying so hard to remain chin-up over loss. And she had many losses to swallow during her lifetime. The remark of continents make sense to me because I think she spent much time outside of the U.S.. And of course she lost a very dear friend while living in Brazil, of which I suspect this poem might be reflecting.... But beautiful none the less, which is why Elizabeth has become one of my very favorite American modern poets. (Report) Reply

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Poems About Loss

  1. 1. One Art , Elizabeth Bishop
  2. 2. O Captain! My Captain! , Walt Whitman
  3. 3. A Loss Of Something Ever Felt I , Emily Dickinson
  4. 4. The Loss Of Love , Countee Cullen
  5. 5. Reluctance , Robert Frost
  6. 6. Loss And Gain , Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  7. 7. Sonnet 42: That Thou Hast Her, It Is Not.. , William Shakespeare
  8. 8. Loss And Gain , Ralph Waldo Emerson
  9. 9. Mother's Loss , Ella Wheeler Wilcox
  10. 10. Upon The Loss Of His Mistresses , Robert Herrick
  11. 11. On Death , Kahlil Gibran
  12. 12. Lines On The Loss Of The "Titanic" , Thomas Hardy
  13. 13. Because I Could Not Stop For Death (712) , Emily Dickinson
  14. 14. The Loss Of The Eurydice , Gerard Manley Hopkins
  15. 15. Music, When Soft Voices Die , Percy Bysshe Shelley
  16. 16. The Lover Mourns For The Loss Of Love , William Butler Yeats
  17. 17. The Widow's Lament In Springtime , William Carlos Williams
  18. 18. On The Loss Of The Royal George , William Cowper
  19. 19. Epitaph On William Muir , Robert Burns
  20. 20. Nothing Remains , Sri Chinmoy Ghose
  21. 21. Dreams In The Dusk , Carl Sandburg
  22. 22. For The Anniversary Of My Death , William Stanley Merwin
  23. 23. Who Never Lost, Are Unprepared , Emily Dickinson
  24. 24. An Irish Airman Forsees His Death , William Butler Yeats
  25. 25. You Were You Are Elegy , Mary Jo Bang
  26. 26. Feeling The Loss Of Him , Raymond A. Foss
  27. 27. Token Loss , Kay Ryan
  28. 28. Losses , Randall Jarrell
  29. 29. The Loss Of The Victoria , William Topaz McGonagall
  30. 30. The Missing , Suheir Hammad
  31. 31. Close The Eyes , hasmukh amathalal
  32. 32. Makes Me Bleed , hasmukh amathalal
  33. 33. Loss Of Memory , hariharans sundaram
  34. 34. What Is Loss? , Sylvia Chidi
  35. 35. I Lived Not , hasmukh amathalal
  36. 36. Falling Tears , Tommie Cobb
  37. 37. Loss Of... , Michael Ernst
  38. 38. Loss Unbearable, Loss Irrepearable , Ulveena Aitzaz
  39. 39. Eurydice , Hilda Doolittle
  40. 40. Obiit Mdcccxxxiii (Entire) , Alfred Lord Tennyson
  41. 41. Song (Sylvia The Fair, In The Bloom Of F.. , John Dryden
  42. 42. A Poet’s Eightieth Birthday , Alfred Austin
  43. 43. When I Look At You , TP Sage
  44. 44. Loss , BEAU GOLDEN
  45. 45. The Death Of The Queen , William Topaz McGonagall
  46. 46. The Death Of Prince Leopold , William Topaz McGonagall
  47. 47. Ch 04 On The Advantages Of Silence Story.. , Saadi Shirazi
  48. 48. The European Debt Crisis- 2012- Updated .. , Lonnie Hicks
  49. 49. A Blood Hots Up , hasmukh amathalal
  50. 50. L Losses Are Sometime Good... , (brief renderings) Joe Fazio
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