One Art

Loss in the Poem One Art by Elizabeth Bishop

March 30, 2021 by Essay Writer

One Art consists of 6 stanzas in total. The first 5 stanzas exist in 3 line forms and are rhymed aba, while the last stanza is four lines and is rhymed abab. The repetition of the words “master” and “disaster” are used as a running theme throughout the poem to emphasize to the reader the importance of these words as they pertain to the rest of the poem. Bishop uses simple yet artistic language throughout the poem by utilizing end rhymes.

Bishop opens up the first stanza by stating in the first stanza that losing objects is not very difficult to do. It is not art that needs to be perfected and that certain things are inevitable to being lost. The first 2 stanzas draw on the idea that losing small objects does not seem to be an issue, it is something that the reader usually experiences on a day to day basis. The objects that are meant to be lost are not worth pondering upon as if it is their job to be lost.

Bishop switches the focus from the first 3 stanzas from having objects that we usually lose and unto requiring whomever she is speaking to to practice losing things. Bishop is asking the reader to practice losing in order to make things seem easier to lose later on. She starts by asking the reader to practice losing things that are kept in our minds like names and places as if preparing us for the loss of someone/something that is bigger.

She goes on in the fourth stanza to explain that she had lost her mothers watch, an item that perhaps symbolizes the lost time that she could have had with her mother.

From stanza 1 to stanza 5, the objects that Bishop loses seem to be getting bigger and are of greater value to her. It seems as though she had endured a lot of loses and that she valued the time she did get to spend in the places she loved with her loved ones.

From the beginning of the poem, it seemed as though Bishop was directing this poem to someone other than herself. However, as the reader nears the end of the poem they discover that Bishop was not talking to someone else but rather talking to herself, trying to convince herself that although losing objects is not a disaster but losing loved ones; people who are important to us is very painful and is truly a disaster. Despite the fact that we are bound to lose things we will always have a memory or recollection in our mind of the times we had with them.

Read more