Elizabeth Bishop

(8 February 1911 – 6 October 1979 / Worcester, Massachusetts)

One Art - Poem by Elizabeth Bishop

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,
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Form: Villanelle


Comments about One Art by Elizabeth Bishop

  • (12/24/2006 1:03:00 PM)


    I think that the subject of the poem is losing per se examined on a number of levels.

    The form is quite interesting - a modified Villanelle. The second repeated line is changed on each repetition.
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  • (9/8/2006 2:17:00 PM)


    She's not saying that writing poetry is a lost are form... She wants the reader to believe at mastering losing is easy, but it's not. It's more like she trying to convience herself that mastering losing is eas or even reacheble. At first she's starts talking about losing something minor like a key or a watch, but then she moves on to more vast things like a river and continent... Now she mentioned that she 'missed it', if you mastered the art of losing why would you miss something? In the last stanza she speaks about losing Love.. Which can easily be written but not believed.. And it's not the lost of a lover, but the lost of a friend... (Report) Reply

  • Brian Dorn (7/25/2006 2:36:00 PM)


    Losing is easy but writing poetry has become something of a 'lost art, '... it's still practiced but seldom mastered. (Report) Reply



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