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Hrishikesh Hirway reads "One Art" by Elizabeth Bishop and shares how the poem inspired his podcast Song Exploder.

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Hrishikesh Hirway:

Poem: “One Art” from THE COMPLETE POEMS 1927-1979 by Elizabeth Bishop. Copyright © 1979, 1983 by Alice Helen Methfessel. Original watercolor by Elizabeth Bishop. Cover design by Cynthia Krupat. Used by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

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Hi my name is Hrishikesh Hirway and I'm reading One Art by Elizabeth Bishop.

I first read the poem in college and then I later came across it in this book, The. Conversations by Michael Ondaatje, with Walter Murch.

In the book they show the first draft of Elizabeth Bishop's poem and then the final draft as well, and this spread in this book became an inspiration for a podcast that I make called Song Exploder, where musicians talk about how a song of theirs was made from beginning to end. So I already loved the poem but then when I came across it again it had this new significance and so it has a special place in my heart.

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.