Art of Losing Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 28 October 2016

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 spoke about how time could be badly spent and how it can be lost and never granted back. “…the hour badly spent. The art of losing isn’t hard to master. ” Any reader could definitely relate to this line.

Today, people get so caught up in what they’re doing in the moment that they let time slip right out of their hands. They often will say “There is not enough time during the day! ” Bishop tries to let readers know that time flies, and every minute of every hour of every day should be cherished. She then begins naming off specific items that have been lost like her mother’s watch, three houses she loved, and the cities in which she lived. Reading the line “The art of losing isn’t hard to master”, makes a reader wonder if she ever did master the art of losing, or does she still have deep feelings about these lost treasures?

In the final stanza she reveals a major clue to the reader. “-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. ” As the reader, you begin to notice that there’s something that Bishop is still holding on to that she cannot seem to let go of. The reader discovers that she is obviously mourning the loss of a beloved person in her life.

Even though she tries to play it off by claiming that even this particular loss is not a disaster, it appears to be one for her and she hasn’t gotten over it just yet. After finishing reading One Art, Bishop wants her readers to take from the poem that time is very precious and we should spend it wisely with either our loved ones or our most cherished heirlooms before life happens and it will be lost forever only leaving a mere memory. To focus on the things that make us happy in life before they are gone and will never return. She doesn’t want others to feel the way she did when she wrote this poem.

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  • University/College: University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 28 October 2016

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