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One art

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poetry analysis

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One art

  1. 1. One Art By by Elizabeth Bishop
  2. 2. This video has colour-coded quotations These are used to help your analysis. The colour of the quotation will help you quickly see what the analysis focus is: Blue = Point on Structure of the poem, sometimes shown by {...} Green = Point on Meaning and themes of the poem Orange = Point on Images shown and used in the poem Red = point on Language and word use in the poem Pink = Point on possible Effect of the poem on the reader
  3. 3. One Art Poem analysis using SMILE Focus on Structure Point on... Area of analysis / Point Evidence Explanation / Reason it is used or shown Structure Villanelle - five tercets (3-verse stanzas) and one quatrain (4-verse stanza) The poem A fixed verse form which originated from a ballad-like rustic song. Its characteristic feature is repetition. Structure Inconsistent iambic pentameter (10 or 11 syllables); enjambment; caesura “—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture / I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident” The most typical rhythm in English poetry and verse drama. Enjambment and caesura create a sense of mastering the imperfections and interruptions into an art form.
  4. 4. One Art Poem analysis using SMILE Focus on Structure Point on... Area of analysis / Point Evidence Explanation / Reason it is used or shown Structure ABA rhyme (the last stanza ABAA) with two types of refrain: one ending with “master”, another ending with “disaster” “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.” (...) “—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.” “Master” and “disaster” are the most frequent words. Although the poem begins in an almost humorous fashion, by repeating and varying these two refrains it turns out to be a melancholic recapitulation of the persona’s incapability of coping with loss. The word “disaster” keeps ringing like a bell and finally closes the poem.
  5. 5. Point on... Area of analysis / Point Evidence Explanation / Reason it is used or shown Meaning Transience “so many things seem filled with the intent / to be lost that their loss is no disaster” Even at the beginning the poet tells us (or herself) that it seems many things exist just in order to be lost. It is a natural order of things. Meaning Past and present “I lost (...) I owned (...) I miss” She had, owned, loved, lost. Now she misses the lost things, places and people. Meaning Love and loss “I lost my mother’s watch.” “Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture / I love) I shan’t have lied.” Love and loss are almost interdependent. The poet creates an impression that all things loved have to come to an end. All that we are left to do is to learn to cope with the loss. And we must never stop trying, impossible though it may be. One Art Poem analysis using SMILE Focus on Meaning
  6. 6. Point on... Area of analysis / Point Evidence Explanation / Reason it is used or shown Images Mother and home “I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or / next-to-last, of three loved houses went.” Mother’s watch is, of course, a metonymy of the mother herself. Houses are home. At this instance she starts talking about people she loved and lost. Images Places - cities, rivers, a continent “I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster, / some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.” Cities and realms she “owned” are a metaphor of her past life that was once her own but she will never repossess it. Images The lost beloved “—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture / I love) I shan’t have lied.” This is the poem’s emotional center. At this point she reinforces her claim on mastering the art of losing, precisely because she feels she can’t govern her feelings. One Art Poem analysis using SMILE Focus on Images
  7. 7. Point on... Area of analysis / Point Evidence Explanation / Reason it is used or shown Language Repetition “The art of losing isn’t hard to master” She repeats this like a mantra, as if she wants to keep in her mind all the time that it is possible (and even easy) to get over loss. As if a lie repeated many times would become true. Language Gradation The poem She starts listing little things that exist only to be lost, and then proceeds with places and persons. The emotional tension intensifies as she slides from particular to abstract, from everyday items to life’s biggest things. One Art Poem analysis using SMILE Focus on Language
  8. 8. Point on... Area of analysis / Point Evidence Explanation / Reason it is used or shown Language Metapoetics “Write it!” She acknowledges that she is writing a poem. Therefore, it is not directed at her lost beloved. It is a self-reflection, the poet’s try to come to terms with her own losses. Also it is a little bit ironic - if she writes her mantra, it might become truth. However, she knows in advance (and we know too) it can’t ever be true. Metapoetic awareness is also displayed in the title. “One art” is crafting losses into poetry. One Art Poem analysis using SMILE Focus on Language
  9. 9. Point on... Area of analysis / Point Evidence Explanation / Reason it is used or shown Effect on reader The “art” of losing perhaps can be mastered, but the longing for lost people never stops The poem When someone’s life becomes a personal history of loss, it is almost a philosophy of losing, that one can elaborate. But the emotional side to it is not recordable. Effect on reader Art as a sublime lie “It’s evident / the art of losing’s not too hard to master / though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.” Self-deception never stops. Artists have mastered the craft of a sublime self-deception. Art only may fight transience. One Art Poem analysis using SMILE Focus on Effect on reader

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