kellyrfineman (kellyrfineman) wrote,

A response to One Art

Elizabeth Bishop's "One Art" is among the best of villanelles. "The art of losing isn't hard to master," it begins. Tricia Stohr-Hunt selected the poem as our jumping-off space this month, and, though I got to it late, I am here, with my poem that uses a single line-- the second line--of the poem inside it.

I didn't write a villanelle, or even stick to form poetry. It's free verse, and I really wanted to cut a word out of the line I chose (the word "the"), but I kept the original words in their original order.

Here's the first stanza of Bishop's "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.

Look for that middle line inside my poem about a shopping dream:

The Salesgirl Was Impeccable
by Kelly Ramsdell

I dreamed a shopping space
improbably large
Only dresses, displayed here
and there on racks widely
spaced atop wax-gleamed
concrete floors.

So many things seemed
filled with the intent
to win attention that
few could succeed.
Pink tea dresses on a
single rack, blue on another.
A black gown with a split skirt.
A dove-grey wrap I wish I owned.

The vast space between
displays should have
announced the shop a dream,
that and the salesgirl,
who was impeccable in a
streamlined 40's suit
and victory roll.

Such luxury of space
is not allowed in real life, although
the sameness of offerings
rang true, except one dress
constructed of ochre straps—
not mesh, not lace,
as much cage as garment—
brittle and unforgiving
in its beauty.

You can find my poetry sisters' posts by clicking the links below.

And, of course, it's Poetry Friday. You can find the host and all the other posts by clicking the box.

Tanita "places, and names, and where it was you meant"

Sara "I lost two cities, lovely ones, and vaster"

Liz "some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent"

Tricia, "The practice losing farther, losing faster"

Laura "Lose something every day, accept the fluster"

The rest of the Poetry Friday posts at the Poem Farm can be found by clicking the box below:

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Tags: bishop, poetry friday, poetry seven

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