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I Want to Lose

In many ways, poetry has become an art of the past. There aren’t very many well-known poets in our world today. We often encounter black and white pictures of men and women who were engulfed by their passion for poetry like this one.

The woman you see in the picture above is Elizabeth Bishop. She was an American poet and short-story writer who won the Pulitzer Prize for her work. My favorite poem, “One Art,” was written by her. But before I tell you why it’s my favorite, please take the time to enjoy this beautiful piece of literature:

One Art

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.

Now that you’ve taken a moment to let the words sink in, let me tell you what it all means to me. I fell in love with poetry because of this poem; it’s the reason why I began to write poems of my own, so it is near and dear to my heart. Each time I read it, I have a different perspective on what it truly means and the significant lessons it holds about time. I like to think of it as an active poem that grows old with me. As time passes, its meaning becomes even more beautiful and significant.

Our world moves fast, so we must be efficient, strong, and diligent to survive. We are so consumed by our work and responsibilities that we become overly serious, pensive beings sedated by caffeine and stress. We begin to lose our sense of fun, wonder, susceptibility to silly distractions, and most importantly, the reason why we toil so much in the first place.

I know I can be self-critical, almost to a fault, over time I have spent laughing at a joke a friend shared, reminiscing over a childhood memory, or trying to figure out what life would be like in an alternate universe.

Elizabeth, in her comforting wisdom, tells us that it’s okay to lose things, because sometimes, they are meant to be lost.

She helps us realize that these small (or big) imperfections are a part of us. It’s human to lose, to waste. This does not mean that we shouldn’t work to be better; it simply means that any effort aimed at improving ourselves comes from a framework of true self-acceptance.

We may never accomplish every goal, go everywhere, or find everything we were looking for, and that’s okay! In the end, it doesn’t cause the damage we fear it would; therefore, Elizabeth actually encourages us to practice losing—it’s no disaster. Letting go of things, people, and places can be incredibly beautiful and liberating. I don’t know about you, but I want to be a loser!

Written by Kenean

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Christmas Doesn’t Come From a Store

‘Twas the eve before Christmas

And all through our dwelling

The thrill of the season

Was growing and swelling

The lights were all shining

The presents were wrapped

And I and my sister

Peacefully napped

For in a few hours

We’d pack up our stuff

And head to my grandma’s

All bundled and muffed

On the short drive

Our excitement was mounting

For soon we’d eat food

Open presents, and do gifting

Nana met us with cheer

As she opened the door

And Papa placed parcels

By the tree on the floor

First we trooped to the table

To gobble and dine

On luscious food

Of most every kind

Then we all gathered

In the room by the fire

All bundled and snuggled

For the rest to transpire

My dad read the story

Of that first Christmas day

We listened intently

Then he asked us to pray

After the reading

Sister and I took the floor

To present our creation

That had been quite a chore

Clad in Dad’s shorts and oversized shoes

We enacted “Papa’s Adventures”

The tales of our grandpa

And his hilarious misadventures

The family all laughed

And poked fun in jest

We all were so happy

And we felt very blessed

Next was gift time

And I was oh so excited

We all gathered ‘round

The tree that was lighted

Presents were opened

And scattered around

The paper piled up

‘Til we couldn’t see the ground

We played with our toys

Until late into night

When our eyes grew heavy

And we fought sleep with great might

Then we packed up our car

And made the trek back

Each with our gifts

All stuffed in our sack

But it wasn’t the presents

That made that year good

It was the time with my family

And the joy of childhood

It’s been many years

Since that one special day

But it’s forever in my heart

And there it will stay

 

Written by Taylor Hayden

Merry Christmas from the DBU Writing Center!

A Writing Center Poem

arabica_coffee

The pale desk
Scintillates in
The Bland lights
Which checker

The roof of an
Old schoolroom
Carpeted in
Gray and blue

Squares; coffee
Makers hum
With their
Colombian brew

A broken Clock
Ticks away
Its Hands
Refuse to move

Hours snore
Back and forth
Like waves
Breasting the shore

Red ink soils
A desperate
Paper
From a desperate

Student, whose
Sweat lingers
And swells
On the desk

A coffee ring
And unmodified
Run-ons
Stain page six

My mind moils
Is it time?
Not time?
Hark, I hear aloft:

The coffee maker
Beeps; Complete,
So I end
This long session

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