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Sunday, April 17, 2011

One Art

Tonight I was reminded of a poem I had to memorize for my AP English Literature class. My teacher was a Scottish woman (sounds cooler than it actually was) who couldn't remember that my name wasn't Sarah- a fact made even more humorous when my sister Molly also took the class and kept getting called Mary. Despite the questionable lifestyle of its author, this poem sums up my week and remains one of my favorite pieces of writing.

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 beloved 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!) a disaster.

There are a few things I've lost this week, too. Like 10 pounds. And 2 hours of my life doing taxes that I didn't actually have to file. And my best friend. Maybe someday- not today- but someday, I'll master the art of losing, too.