Wednesday, October 21, 2009


"Poets aim either to benefit [enlighten, bring about insight, understanding,
compassion], or to please [delight with effects of engaging, subtle ideas, words, sounds, images]. ***
The man [or woman] who has managed to blend usefulness [not practical utility, but intellectual and spiritual deepening and eye-opening understanding] with pleasure
wins everyone's approbation
[applause, cheers, seat thumpings, sighs of admiration...], for he delights his reader [listener]as he instructs him."-- Horace, *On Poetry.*

Monday, October 12, 2009

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.

Image: Robert Christie