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One Art

Elizabeth Bishop

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2004-11-30
Added by: libby
I love the way that Elizabeth Bishop uses minimal, almost simple language that seems to just happen to rhyme, as if by accident.

Her poems, One Art in particular, construct layered narratives that are usually explained in the first and last stanzas, with as much power as short story writing.

But the middles of her poems are what reach down into the guts of what our lives are like, and her language always makes me feel like a child just now learning a basic life lesson.
2005-09-29
Added by: Zjanae
The poem “One Art” This lovely poem is written in a difficult form -the Villanelle. This poetic style is named for the French poet Francois Villon (1431-1474). The construction of a villanelle is straightforward, however very hard to master in my opinion. It consists of five stanzas of three lines each. These five stanzas have the first and third lines rhyming (rhyme scheme A B A). A sixth and last stanza is in the form of a quatrain with three out of the four lines rhyming (rhyme scheme A B A A). In addition to the specific rhyme scheme, the first and third lines alternately recur throughout the poem, and are repeated as the last two lines of the final quatrain.
The primary challenge of the villanelle is to continue to hold the reader's interest, even as you reuse the first and third lines from the originating stanza. Thinking up lines that can be used repeatedly without becoming boring or repetitive can be a challenge, so making them meaningful is a must. Also, reusing the lines demands that you find a array of words to rhyme with them - words that do not violate the meter of the verses, or strain the lines with too many or too few syllables.
Bishop begins with what seems to be, in effect, a 'handbook' on dealing with progressively greater losses. Initially the poem seems to be humorous, even as the losses become greater and greater. In the last stanza however, the cover of humor and exaggeration are dropped just enough to give us a glimpse of the speaker's true anguish, and the poem is revealed to be a love poem.
one Art
2005-10-28
Added by: Jean R. Bellegarde
If words kill life will end
if they cure, lives has just begining.

Thank You Elisabeth Bishop for one Art wich spoke for all heart.

Jean.
2005-11-20
Added by: Jaideep
This poem is wonderfully used in the movie "In Her Shoes"... There they give a slightly different spin to it - making it about loss... loss of a friend...any friend, rather than a lover, in particular...

The movie is a must see, just for this poem...and for 'i carry your heart with me', by e.e.cummings!
One Art
2006-06-13
Added by: Mon
I just thought it was worth mentioning, if you look at the poem and single out every words thats a form of the word loss, there's thirteen of them ... thirteen the "evil unlucky number"
One Art
2006-10-11
Added by: wallace
The poem is essentially about the lost of a friend rather that a specific love one. Bishop takes the time to note all this little things that don't matter and like lost keys. she tries to make it seem that she does not really care about the loss of the two rivers or continents. however it does affect her. But most of all what is losing a friend.

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