Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Poetry Jam: Loss

We go to the wake of a 41-year-old man tonight, a co-worker and friend of Mama's who leaves behind a loving wife and two young children.

It is, frankly, one of my worst nightmares, alongside losing one of the children--a spouse expected home but instead the knock of a police office or call from a hospital in her place.  And so to have the exact thing happen to a man who sits a few cubes down . . . .

As April is poetry month, which I usually celebrate but have overlooked in our busy-ness this year, I post a poem that resonates so much this week.

May he rest in peace and may his family be comforted.


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.

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