Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The other One Art blog;or,it isn't cheating if you repost something w/a new introduction

Orignally posted on 14 Jan 08
Orignal title: a poem I have been thinking about for a while now; or, the trip to bountiful

One Art
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

He was so upset when they used the poem "One Art"  in the film In Her Shoes. As we walked out of the  theatre he just kept swearing. I laughed a little to myself because I know that he loved the idea of being a rebel, a romantic hero who doesn't live by any one's rules. To him, Bishop's poetry would always belong on a New Hampshire dock and the deck of other people's boats he had managed to talk his way onto for free sail. In his mind, teenage girls were rushing en masse to Barnes and Noble to get their copy of The Complete Poems of Elizabeth Bishop. I giggled a little as his rendition of imagined (but likely) future classroom conversations with those girls as they begin their analysis of this poem with "Well, when Cameron Diaz reads this aloud..."

As he continued to complain I watched him run a hand through his shaggy hair and put on his aviator glasses, and I was returned to a video store 15 years before. It was before we had hurt each other so badly, before he married someone else, before I had moved away. I had only known him a few weeks and we were picking a movie for a group movie night. He wanted to get the 1985 oscar winning "The Trip to Bountiful." I wanted to get Cameron Crowe's "Singles." We were talking about which one to get when he turned and looked at me. He watched me as I told him that it has Eddie Vedder, and it is really good, and I know a lot of our friends have been wanting to see it for a while, how I wasn't sure that everyone would like the one he picked, and so on.

He didn't address anything I had said. Instead in a quiet voice he said 'You are so aware of what other people think about you. You are afraid your friends will think you're not cool, you are probably even afraid of what the clerk thinks of your movie choices." He grabbed the videos out of my hands and put them both down and walked over to the New Releases and picked up the hottest new release, I think it was Prelude to a Kiss, but I can't be sure now, and without another word to me, he walked up to the counter and rented it. I just stood there and watched him walk to the car.

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