I wake to sleep and take my waking slow.
We think by feeling. What is there to know?
Of those so close beside me, which are you?
Light takes the Tree; but who can tell us how?
Great Nature has another thing to do
This shaking keeps me steady. I should know.
(By Theodore Roethke, from his Collected Poems. Reprinted by permission
of Doubleday, Inc.)
The art of losing isn't hard to master;
Lose something everyday. Accept the fluster
Then practice losing further, losing faster:
I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
-- Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
(From the Complete Poems, 1927-79 by Elizabeth Bishop. Copyright 1979,
1983 by Alice Helen Methfessel. Reprinted by permission of Farrar Straus
& Giroux, Inc.)
Robert Hass, former U.S. poet laureate, is the author, most recently, of the collection "Sun Under Wood."
© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company
Back to the top