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"one Art" by Elizabeth Bishop

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"one Art" by Elizabeth Bishop


Alicia Nembhard




                                       "One Art" by Elizabeth Bishop


    In the poem "One Art' by Elizabeth Bishop, the author is illustrating the idea of acceptance and the idea of loosing things without  feeling like  a disaster has occurred in our lives. We see this theme through her usage of poetic techniques, that has helped us to understand the importance of not breaking down in situations that may occur in our lifetime.

    The Poem "One Art" by Elizabeth Bishop the author of the poem is demonstrating the idea of losing things, even when it may seem as all hope is lost, it is sometimes necessary and shouldn’t be taken so seriously. The author had demonstrated the theme of acceptance in whatever you may lose when  She claims that we become custom by losing the little things like "door keys" or "the hour badly spent" (line 5) . She states in the poem that “Lose something every day. Accept the fluster of lost door keys, the hour badly spent. The art of losing isn’t hard to master.” So when considerable losses happen we will be prepared for it. Meaning that it may be hard to master at one point it is worth it all at the end because we come upon a certain time in our lives where things need to be accepted for what it is.

 The author’s use of repetition of the phrase, “The art of losing isn’t hard to master” serves to agree with her thoughts in the poem to convince herself that losing becomes easier with time and practice.  She begins with simple objects and uses them as steppingstones for things which become more difficult to lose.  In the third stanza, she tells readers to “practice losing farther, losing faster: / places, and names, and where it was you meant to travel,” but her specificity points to her own sense of loss for people and places.  When the author starts to talk about other things besides small objects, it becomes clear that the author is being personal about situations she had probably occurred in her life.

    When Bishop writes, “None of these will bring disaster,” the audience starts to believe that certain circumstances will be alright as along as we know how to handle our problems, but the idea of “art” in acceptance and loosing is being talked about in this play is ironic because seems as if this is the opposite of how the author feels towards her situation. The author connects her feeling to her personal experiences she encountered in her life when she states “I lost my mother’s watch” . I lost my mother’s watch. And look: my last, or Next-to-last, of three loved houses went”. The “I” finally appears in the poem, relating loss after loss.  her emotions, along with the reader’s own feelings, seem to build up in this poem.  The poetic structure helps the reader to understand the inner being of how Bishop is feeling about how she deals with continuous loss in her life and turns it into art. Her experience has taught her that no matter how terrible a loss seems, people always survive, and this lesson she attempts to teach her readers in this poem.

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