Tuesday, October 11, 2005

One Art by Elizabeth Bishop

P. 37

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 naems, 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.

I enjoyed reading this poem from the beginning to the end. After reading the first stanza, I could relate to what the speaker was saying. The whole gist of the poem is that "the art of losing isn't hard to master." This one simple line is repeated throughout the poem and is presented as a reoccuring theme. The "One Art" that the title of the poem is talking about is the art of losing and the idea of losing as the poem says is something that is done in everyday life. Everything that anyone does you can lose in. Life is about losing and even though one may think that it is the end of one's world, the speaker is trying to tell us that it is "no disaster." I enjoy how the speaker brings in these real-life experiences or everyday encounters that allow for the reader to identify with the speaker's meaning on a different level. For example, when the speaker talks about "the fluster of lost door keys," we can all relate to that aspect in life and at the end of that stanza, the speaker once again implies the theme of losing is something that happens to everyone. At the very end of the poem when the speaker brings in a sense of humor, it shows that this art of losing is something that can be taken lightly as well. The idea of losing a loved on may look like disaster as the speaker says in the poem, but once again, he/she still stands by the idea that it's not the end of the world.


Blogger Naseem said...

I like this poem because as you read it makes you feel human and normal. I also like that the speaker uses real life examples like lost keys or a watch because it makes it easier for the reader to relate.
Naseem Arjmand

11:05 PM  
Blogger Sevanna Isanians said...

I also liked this poem because it is real. Loss is something not taken lightly by most, it is evidence througth the speaker of the poem. Yet the end provides comic relief for the audience of the poem, as in although people may experience loss in life it is apart of being human loss and gain.

1:43 AM  

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