One Art
One Art
by Elizabeth Bishop

One Art Analysis

Symbols, Imagery, Wordplay

Material Objects"One Art" approaches loss in a rather sidelong manner; it doesn’t dive straight in and attack the big issues, like the loss of a home or a loved one, but instead begins with t...

Form and Meter

Villanelle; Iambic Pentameter…ish.Oh boy. Where to begin? The villanelle is a complicated verse form, to say the least. It’s actually quite famous for its convoluted structure, and the...

Speaker

The speaker in "One Art" isn’t new to the troubles of life and love; she’s been around the block a few times, and probably feels like she’s seen it all. Perhaps we’ve been u...

Setting

This is another of those thoughtful, intensely internal poems that doesn’t have a real setting (after all, we don’t know what Elizabeth Bishop’s mental landscape looked like, thou...

Sound Check

If you’ve ever seen any of those schlocky movies in which an older narrator looks back at the events of his or her past (classic examples include Stand by Me and A River Runs Through It), you...

What's Up With the Title?

"One Art" works on two levels; on the first, we can take the meaning of the title from the first line, and assume that the "art of losing" (1.1) is the only art here. However, if we take a closer l...

Calling Card

Deceptively casual, simple, elegant language. What more could you ask for?Elizabeth Bishop didn’t get her reputation for being a poet’s poet for nothing. Her poems are often praised for...

Tough-O-Meter

(2) Sea LevelYou’d never guess that this poem is actually a miracle of technicality and form. Even though it follows a notoriously difficult verse form, the villanelle, it’s a clear and...

Brain Snacks

Elizabeth Bishop actually was quite the traveler, and had called many places home by the time this poem was written, including Massachusetts, Canada, and Brazil. (Source) Bishop almost didn’t...

Sex Rating

GIf this poem were a city, sex wouldn’t even be at its outskirts. You’d have to go pretty far out into the suburbs to find even a hint of it. Sure, love is an issue here, and a certain...

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