Not my writing

One Art by Elizabeth Bishop

This is the one poem I’ve completely memorized – I love everything about it. (Source!)
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.


I hope you all enjoyed that as much as I did! We had to analyze this in class and I don’t think I’ve ever had more fun in my life, so there’s that. It’s just such a simple yet completely genius piece of writing. Maybe it’s because I relate to the speaker. Maybe it’s because I, too, am trying to convince myself that losing things (people) is fine. Maybe it’s how the poem gets more tragic as it progresses. Maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for love and heartache. Probably all of the above and then some. Okay, I’ll stop fawning over this masterpiece now (oops).

Not my writing

This Be The Verse by Philip Larkin

Let’s get a little personal. I love this poem because it reflects my current thoughts on having children as well as my personal experiences with, well, being born, alive, and raised by two fucked up people. This is straightforward, painfully honest, and views parenthood in a way that most poetry does not. Without further adieu, here’s the poem as well as the source:

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.

Not my writing

“What Do Women Want?” by Kim Addonizio

This is once of my favorite published poems! Here’s the source.

I want a red dress.
I want it flimsy and cheap,
I want it too tight, I want to wear it
until someone tears it off me.
I want it sleeveless and backless,
this dress, so no one has to guess
what’s underneath. I want to walk down
the street past Thrifty’s and the hardware store
with all those keys glittering in the window,
past Mr. and Mrs. Wong selling day-old
donuts in their café, past the Guerra brothers
slinging pigs from the truck and onto the dolly,
hoisting the slick snouts over their shoulders.
I want to walk like I’m the only
woman on earth and I can have my pick.
I want that red dress bad.
I want it to confirm
your worst fears about me,
to show you how little I care about you
or anything except what
I want. When I find it, I’ll pull that garment
from its hanger like I’m choosing a body
to carry me into this world, through
the birth-cries and the love-cries too,
and I’ll wear it like bones, like skin,
it’ll be the goddamned
dress they bury me in.