Analysis Of Elizabeth Bishop 's Poem ' One Art '

991 WordsSep 30, 20144 Pages
Writing Assignment 1A Elizabeth Bishop’s poem “One Art” is a lyrical poem, as opposed to one that is narrative and story-like, where the speaker is emotionally performing a kind of self-therapy in writing about her struggles in dealing with the many losses in her life, from the simplest of losses such as a set of keys, to the most painful loss, that of a loved one, most likely the person in her life to whom she was the closest. On a surface level reading, Ms. Bishop is suggesting that dealing with loss is an art form, and because there are so many opportunities in life where these situations present themselves, that with enough practice this “art” should be easy to master. But through the poem’s stanza development, it becomes painfully obvious that this poet is using irony and sarcasm to express what the speaker really feels, which is there is never enough time in life to master the art of losing. One never actually learns to master this art. Mishaps and catastrophes, which she terms disasters, just keep showing up. On a surface level reading, “One Art” treats losing as an everyday occurrence, and because it is so common, mastering the art of losing should be easy, almost second nature. In the first stanza, the speaker exemplifies that losing is inherent in so many things, that the experience of losing couldn’t possibly be a disaster. Throughout the poem, the degree of sensitivity to loss is treated the same, whether it is losing a set of keys and wasting an hour
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