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"One Art"

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Jessica Strelitz

on 17 March 2014

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Transcript of "One Art"

"One Art"
by Elizabeth Bishop

Significance in my life
practice the art of losing to be prepared for the worst
attempt to have control in the world
loss in my life
my personal meditation
-most likely a woman, someone who has lost a loved one in their life and it attempting to get over her loss.
-pedantic tone, contradicts herself by the end of the poem
Bishop's main themes in "One Art":
-Memories: "mother's watch"
-Travels: "where it was you meant to travel", "two cities"
-Personal Loss: "even losing you"
"One Art" stanzas 1,2,3
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.

born Feburary 8th, 1911 in Worcester, MA
"Bishop's childhood was filled with a sense of loss that pervades her poetry" (1).
suffered from eczema, asthma, St. Vitus's dance, and nervous ailments
Graduated from Vassar College in 1934
Lowell and Moore's influences
Lowell- “I think I must write entirely for you” (6).
Traveled to/lived in various places including: France, Key West, Brazil
Taught at Harvard
1956 Pulitzer Prize for her book of poetry:
North and South
Poet Laureate of the United States from 1949-1950
National Book Award Winner for her
Complete Poems
in 1970
Died in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1979

Elizabeth Bishop
Slide 1: 1. Colwell, Anne Agnes. "Bishop, Elizabeth." American National Biography Online. Oxford University Press, Feb. 2000. Web. 14 Feb. 2014.
2. Russell, Sue. "Elizabeth Bishop: An Overview." Gay and Lesbian Biography. Detroit: Michael J. Tyrkus and Michael Bronski, 1997. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 16 Feb. 2014. <http://go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE|H1420000813&v=2.1&u=va_p_norfolk_ac&it=r&p=LitRG&sw=w&asid=72c1e28d2a29d868a6b3c3fc56ec93b7>.
3. "The Biography of Elizabeth Bishop." Poem Hunter. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2014. <http://www.poemhunter.com/elizabeth–bishop/biography/>.
4. "Elizabeth Bishop." The Poetry Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2014. <http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/elizabeth-bishop>.
5. Page, Barbara. "The Rising Figure of the Poet: Elizabeth Bishop in Letters and Biography." Comtemporary Literature 37.1 (1996): 119. Print.
Picture: "Elizabeth Bishop." NNDB. Soylent Communications, n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2014. <http://www.nndb.com/people/658/000099361/>.
6. Logan, William. "I Wrote Entirely For You." New York Times [New York] 31 Oct. 2008: n. pag. Print.
Slide 2: 1. "Elizabeth Bishop." The Poetry Foundation. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Feb. 2014. <http: www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/elizabeth-bishop>.
Hollister, Susannah L. "Elizabeth Bishop's Geographic Feeling." Twentieth Century Literature 58.3: 399-IV. Print.
Slide 9: Earl, Jamelah. "Villanelles, Sonnets, and Meter." Literary Kicks. N.p., 26 Sept. 2013. Web. 9 Mar. 2014. <http://www.litkicks.com/PoeticForms#.UxzBH3maKf0>.
Slide 12: Tolle, Eckhart. The Power of Now. San Francisco: New World Publishing, 1999. Print.
Slide 13: Page, Barbara. "The Rising Figure of the Poet: Elizabeth Bishop in Letters and Biography." Comtemporary Literature 37.1 (1996): 119. Print.
Ellis, Jonathan. "From Maps to Monuments: Elizabeth Bishop's Shoreline Poems."Moasic: a Journal for the Inerdisciplinary Study of Literature 36.4(2003): 103-19. Print.
Furlani, Andre. "Elizabeth Bishop's Stories of Childhood: Writing the Disaster."Critique 43.2 (2002): 148-60. Print.

"One Art" was included in Elizabeth Bishop's book,
Geography III
, which was published in 1977.
"One Art" stanzas 4,5,6
I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or next-to-last, of three loved 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!) like disaster.
Theme of "One Art"
As creatures of our mind, we naturally reject our grief to gain some control over our suffering. However, life is unpredictable, and unfortunately, loss is inevitable and extremely difficult to acknowledge. The real "art" in life is the ability to reflect on everything we lose, to recognize that nothing lives forever, and to remain happy.
Villanelle Structure
- 19-line poem, "made up of five tercets and a concluding quatrain. It employs line repetition. The first line of the first stanza is repeated as the last line in the second and fourth stanzas, and as the penultimate line in the final quatrain. The third line of the first stanza is repeated as the last line in the third and fifth stanzas, and as the last line in the final quatrain."
The power of repetition
- trying to convince herself
Difficult structure
-Grief is difficult
She attempts to give life structure, but this structure is eventually broken down.
End rhyme and perfect rhyme
: each end line rhymes with either "master" or "intent."
slowing down and speeding up by using punctuation and repetition.
loosely structured iambic pentameter
Examples of end rhyme (see poem)
Tone and Connotative Words
losing and living (life and death)
Denotation vs. Connotation of Losing
pedantic tone shifts to helpless tone
Stanza 1: all losses are the same- "things", "intent"
Stanza 2: Repetition- "Lose something everyday." "watch" "hour"
Stanza 3: Personal- "places" "names" "travel" "you"
stanza 4: First person- "watch" "Look!" "houses"
stanza 5: Holding onto things larger than herself- "two cities" "vaster, some realms" "I miss them"
Stanza 6: Her breakdown -Sigh, "Even" "evident" "not too hard" "like (Write it!) like"
Figurative Language
lines 13-14: cities, rivers, continent, hyperbole
lines 16-17: (the joking voice, a gesture I love)
: mother's watch, three loved houses
Klimax throughout the poem
"Losing farther, Losing faster"- anaphora

The Biggest Symbol/ Metaphor:
What is this "One Art?"
- how to acknowledge death and our own personal way to defend ourselves from depression and enjoy life.

The Power of Now
by Eckhart Tolle- "As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease. When you act out of present moment awareness, whatever you do becomes imbued with a sense of quality, care, and love- even the most simple action" (43).

Quotations of Critics
"Pinksy believed, precisely because her reputation was not buoyed up by showmanship in her lifetime: '[Bishop's] was a pure reputation based upon the quality of her work, and so when the personality is withdrawn, no artificial support is withdrawn' (351)'- Barbara Page

"Writing for Bishop is not spontaneous or automatic, but premeditated and deliberate."- Andre Furlani

."'Letting things be' is as close to a Bishop motto as we can ever get. While she desperately wanted to remember things well, at the same time she also tried to leave many memories just as they were, lost" (131). - Jonathan Ellis
Further Research

Vassar's website on Bishop: http://projects.vassar.edu/bishop/

The Power of Now
by Eckhart Tolle

Geography III
by Elizabeth Bishp
Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell
Elizabeth Bishop: Poems, Prose, and Letters
by Robert Giroux and Lloyd Schwartz,
"One Art"
by Robert Giroux and Lloyd Schwartz,
Floating World
by Elizabeth Bishop

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