Elizabeth Bishop's One Art: The Art of Losing

Pages: 2 (764 words) Published: June 19, 2013
The Art of Losing
In society, there is no way out of losing things; it is what’s supposed to happen and there will be no escaping it. Misplacing valuable things is a highly common activity we do presently. We lose everything! Whether it may be car keys, textbooks, your own cell phone, it is not rare to misplace any of your belongings. Time is also guilty of being a valuable product that is most often lost if not keeping a close eye on it. Elizabeth Bishop proves this point in her well-written poem, One Art, by saying “The art of losing isn’t hard to master.” Ms. Bishop tries to inform the reader that life has treasured moments and if one is not careful they will find him or herself living in a lost state of mind. In Elizabeth Bishop’s poem, she speaks about “the art” of losing things. When the author of this poem calls the act of losing things an art, it has a greater meaning. “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.” She speaks as though things are meant to be lost and should remain lost as if it were meant to happen. That is in fact the art in which she speaks of. She wants her readers to know that losing valuable things is somewhat beautiful in a sense that it’s meant to be and that it will find a way to become lost. Bishop even said “Lose something every day….Then practice losing farther, losing faster; places, names, and where it was you meant to travel. None of these will bring disaster.” Could Bishop have been speaking about memory loss or a different loss that is only one of life’s many outcomes? She says that none of these will bring disaster; if one forgets places, names, and where he or she wanted to travel, one shouldn’t feel any loss at all because there wouldn’t be any emotion there. Perhaps one of life’s losses that Bishop wants to get through to her readers is that growing older can cause memories to fade, become lost, and never to be found again. Bishop then...

Cited: Kennedy, X. J., and Dana Gioia. "One Art by Elizabeth Bishop." Backpack Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. New York: Pearson/Longman, 2006. 589. Print.
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