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Analyzing "One Art" By Elizabeth Bishop Is An Analytical Essay Of One Art By Elizabeth Bishop. It Looks At The Authors Meaning Of "Losing" In This Polygamous Poem.

1764 words - 7 pages

Analyzing "One Art" by Elizabeth BishopIn "One Art", by Elizabeth Bishop there is a prevalent theme of Amateur vs. Skilled, Hoard vs. Reveal. Bishop appears to be the skilled individual in the poem. In the opening lines of the poem, she informs the reader that the "art of losing isn't hard to master". Losing can be an acquired skill that one can master. According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, a "master" is one who has control over something. One who is highly skilled. It also means to overcome. When looking at these meanings we see that this poem is polygamous. She is telling the reader that you can have control over losing. She says that losing is an acquirable skill. Furthermore, she says that losing is something one can overcome and defeat, thus informing the reader that losing can be defeated.She says, "so many things seem filled with the intent to be lost that their loss is no disaster". One can interpret this as things appear to have the purpose of being lost, that their loss is no disaster, thus giving the individual control over losing because it has not caused calamity. She then begins to inform the amateur reader that they should "lose something everyday", showing herself to be an expert. If you have a daily ritual of practicing losing something, you will be able to "accept the fluster", and "the hour of badly spent".The way to master losing is to accept it. By accepting it, you alleviate yourself from the frustration of agitation, getting upset and the confusion. The "hour" it takes you to find the object will no longer be seen as one "badly spent". She then reemphasizes the first line of the first stanza. By doing so, she reassures the reader that losing can be mastered.The speaker gives the reader advice on how to practice losing. She informs us to lose "father" and "faster". Farther meaning to a greater distance and faster, meaning rapidly, swiftly and quickly. We can see that the speaker took her own advice, as we look at stanzas four and five. She uses imagery as she starts out telling us how she lost her mother's watch. As the quantity of things in the listprogresses and increases so do the quality of things. This is evident of her practicing losing "farther" and "faster". The quality of the list increases from her "mother's watch" to "three loved houses", "two cities", "two rivers" and a continent". The hyperbole's Bishop uses show how she progresses and acquires the skills to master the art of losing.The things she mentioned that are small in quality, in stanza four end with the phrase, "the art of losing isn't hard to master". The hyperbolic examples of things she lost in stanza five ends with the stanza, "I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster." The realistic objects are not hard to master. The exaggerated objects are those that she misses, but aren't considered a disaster. How can she miss things that she can't possible have had possession over or had the ability to lose. And if a continent or a...

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