Prior To This Class, I Have Never Heard Elizabeth Bishop’S

1341 WordsMay 13, 20176 Pages
Prior to this class, I have never heard Elizabeth Bishop’s name before or read any of her poetry. When I read her well noted poem, ‘One Art’ and discovered her name, I researched her life to seek what this poem might have meant to her at the time it was written. After discovering the hardships and tragic losses she has experienced in her life, the poem suddenly seems to make more sense. Elizabeth Bishop, born on the 8th of February in 1911, had to accept her father’s death early in life before her first birthday. At the tender age of five, she had to endure the suffering of her mother being ripped from her life due to a series of nervous collapses, leading her mother into mental rehabilitation. After reading about the tragic losses…show more content…
The art of losing isn 't hard to master.” (4-6) We have all lost our keys at one point and have wasted an hour of our time that we will never get back. According to the Bishop, losing these frivolous things "isn 't hard to master" (6). I have also taken notice that this phrase, “the art of losing isn’t hard to master”, is used to almost convince and assure oneself that this statement is true. Elizabeth Bishop quickens up the pace of the poem and takes it a bit further. In the beginning, she discussed losing trivial objects, such as keys. In the third quatrain, she mentions far more significant matters, such as places and names. “Then practice losing farther, losing faster: places, and names, and where it was you meant to travel. None of these will bring disaster.” (7-9) We have all come across a time where we fail to remember names of certain people or even places we have been to in the past. Many of us have even experienced losing an opportunity due to our hectic schedules. Bishop contends, "none of these will bring disaster" (9). It seems as if though Bishop is attempting to, once again, persuade herself and the readers that despite the circumstances, these losses should have no control over one’s life. Although everyone is aware that often times, enduring the pain of a loss can be extremely tragic and difficult to overcome.

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