New beginnings

8 SEPTEMBER 2014 by Megen Molé

“Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.”

Elizabeth Bishop knew that letting go of the old, however difficult, is an essential part of the process of inviting in the new. In her well-known poem ‘One Art’, she muses on the bittersweet possibilities of rebirth and recovery following a loss.

Loss is naturally not the only precurser to a new beginning. Though we often have to give something up to set out on a new path, that gift can be willing; welcomed, even. This week on Poetry International, we explore – through poetry, naturally – that eternal phenomenon of beginning anew, as well as the things that remain with us. 

Take a tour through loss, love, and learning with the following poems:

‘In the Beginning’ by David Malouf (Australia)
‘The word is dead, has to be written’ by Gerrit Kouwenaar (Netherlands)
‘Make it New’ by Alice Fulton (USA)
‘The Art of Leaving’ by Gabeba Baderoon (South Africa)
‘Leaving Poetry’ by Lyor Shternberg (Israel)
‘There Are Stories That End Before Starting’ by Abdel-ilah Salhi (Morocco)
‘Loss’ by Mordechai Geldman (Israel)
‘Things You Only Need to Remember Briefly’ by K. Schippers (Netherlands)
‘Gloss on the Coming of Autumn’ by Jorge de Sena (Portugal)
‘In Haste – For My Baby’ by Jiang Hao (China)
‘Childhood’ by José Asunción Silva (Colombia)
‘Beginnings’ by Ruth Vanita (India)
‘A cage of sound 01: Beginning’ by Anna Enquist (Netherlands)

These poems, as with all poetry, express what we can’t quite put into words in any other way. We hope you enjoy discovering (or re-discovering) them as much as we did.


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