Analysis Of Poem One Art By Elizabeth Bishon

896 WordsOct 25, 20154 Pages
Elizabeth Bishon’s poem “One Art” explores the universal experience of loss through enacting a structured, post-modern villanelle, which utilizes parody through understatement and “disobeying” the rigid structure of a villanelle. The speaker’s strategy is revealed through the structural form as well as the play of language through the speaker’s discourse, implications, and ordering. The poem’s linguistic contributions help perform the speaker’s poetic purpose. Before entering into the structural form of the poem, understanding the speaker’s motivations can assist in perceiving the reason for choosing the structure of a villanelle. The speaker appears to be a woman who, perhaps, recently lost a lover. The final stanza introduces an apostprophé, “you,” revealing the speaker’s motivation for writing. “Even losing you,” she says, provides evidence that “the art of losing’s not too hard to master” (16, 15.) The purpose of the poem builds up to the final stanza, with a litotes understating the severity of loss in an ironic sentiment, saying, “Even losing you…I shan’t have lived. It’s evident / the art of losing’s not too hard to master” (18.) The speaker narrows the focus of the poem till she directly addresses the addressee, employing humor the soften the hurt of such a loss that “may look like…disaster” (19.) The tone of the speaker significantly shifts in the sixth stanza, seen in the intimacy of the loss “losing you,” though there are two more minor shifts in the fourth
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