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One Art Commentary

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One Art 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 names, 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 beloved 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!) a disaster. Why I chose it She explains a major problem well in this poem. We have so many losses in life and we have to learn how to forget some of them otherwise life will overwhelm us. ...read more.


Also the reader's sense of the subject is gained by each repetition as the theme of the poem is emphasised after each stanza. Each refrain builds up stronger amounts of loss. The second stanza is based on the loss of "door keys" or wasting time. The poet personifies these lost objects, saying that they "seem filled with the intent to be lost." This is showing that these objects want to be lost and by giving inanimate objects feelings, it conveys that these objects are not of great importance. These are basically simple losses that one can learn to forget, but as the poem progresses, the amount that is lost builds up, including personal things with much more importance. This point can be proven in the third stanza, where she says "Then practice losing farther, losing faster:" This is the point in the poem, where she begins to name things that can be lost with much greater importance. Following the third stanza, the next one involves things of personal importance to a person. "my mother's watch...three beloved houses." These things are more personal as a home is one which symbolises love and protection, which is a contrast to the insignificant loss of keys. ...read more.


This stanza contrasts with the quicker pace of the first stanza as there was only one semi-colon and comma used. This is clear evidence of the punctuation used by Bishop which greatly emphasises what Bishop was trying to achieve with this poem. This poem was written to show the readers the comparison of loss between different things. This poem may seem simple, but is very deep mainly through the way the poet utilised the structure and the richness in irony. This can be seen by how she refrains the use of "loss isn't hard to master". This changes in the last line to "loss isn't too hard to master" This might show how it is getting harder for the poet to overcome the loss of a loved one. Bishop proves that the loss of trivial things and mastering this loss, will not be able to prepare you for the loss of something beloved by you, which further increases the ironic nature of the poem. In the end she could be all alone, hence the title "One Art". She believed that if she could detach herself from pain and forget these feelings, she can begin a new life and grow, but realises that it is too hard for her. ...read more.

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