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This week at The Paris Review, we’re thinking about the art of losing. Read on for Elizabeth Bishop’s Art of Poetry interview, Hebe Uhart’s short story “Coordination,” and Terry Stokes’s poem “Losing the Time of Day.”
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Elizabeth Bishop, The Art of Poetry No. 27
Issue no. 80 (Summer 1981)
Have you ever had any poems that were gifts? Poems that seemed to write themselves?
Oh, yes. Once in a while it happens. I wanted to write a villanelle all my life but I never could. I’d start them but for some reason I never could finish them. And one day I couldn’t believe it—it was like writing a letter.
By Hebe Uhart
Issue no. 228 (Spring 2019)
We were gathered in a small conference room at the book fair. A lot of people were there. To my right, a very elderly writer was reading an excruciatingly long story. She kept pausing because she kept losing her place on the page. She had the voice of a convalescent—no, it was more like the voice of someone who had lived alone in a cave for a long time without speaking to a soul. I would have offered to read the story for her, but her handwriting was so cryptic that only she could make sense of it.
Losing the Time of Day
By Terry Stokes
Issue no. 145 (Winter 1997)
I lost the time of day about three weeks ago
right after the siesta in the trembling rain,
right after the blue dream in the saffron forest,
right after the day of purple spotlights
in the auburn bathroom of pain …
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