One Art

Elizabeth Bishop, 1911 – 1979

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.



  • Mixed Signals: Why People Misunderstand Each Other: “Most people suffer from …“the transparency illusion”—the belief that what they feel, desire, and intend is crystal clear to others, even though they have done very little to communicate clearly what is going on inside their minds.” As a follow up: Which Words Matter the Most When We Talk?
  • By the time you read this, I’ll be dead: Assisted suicide is grey, and yet another caution against having extreme, defensive stances on any matter.
  • Interview with Nick Riggle on Style: Is style the same as fashion? Is style materialistic? Riggle suggests that it’s more complicated than either of those: style is the expression of our personal ideals.
  • Loving My Sister-Brother: “Aren’t you going to judge me?” My heart ached with the hurt of my faith being misunderstood…” Christians judge because of their flawed humanity, not because the Bible teaches them to. Au contraire, John 8:7 says, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone…” The greatest commandment is to love.
  • Why you can’t trust yourself: The world would be a better place, that we would give more people the benefit of the doubt, if we become aware of these issues, strive to remember them daily, and realize nobody is exempt.