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

  • (5/11/2007 11:51:00 PM)

    One of her greatest and most influential poems. The last line's parenthetic exclamation redeems the ironic stance on loss (as if the art of losing was easy to master) . It says, with a lump in the throat, but full resolve, 'get on with your life! '
    Two other great poems: The Moose, The Fish
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  • (4/5/2007 2:26:00 AM)

    One ARTIST! ! ......magnificent work....as always.....! ! (Report) Reply

  • (1/16/2007 9:13:00 PM)

    Hi. I dont speak english very well, but I'll try to say something about the great poetry.
    I belived that the subject is, learn lose things, love, friends, because this situations not stop the life, but this situations give to us a new chance for a new life step, when you really learn to lose everything, and is it not a desaster for you, you grow up inside, your spirit is grow up, and the life is a hole gift, not a desaster

    Did you undestend what im trying to say?
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  • (12/30/2006 5:27:00 PM)

    I agree with Rashad Mccloud. The narrator seems to be more trying to convince herself that losing something is easy and that after something is lost it should be forgotten. But as it turns out in the last stanza she lost a friend which was harder on her than she lets on. (Report) Reply

  • (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

# 55 poem on top 500 Poems

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