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One Art

One Art


by Elizabeth Bishop

One Art Memory and the Past Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (stanza.line)

Quote #1

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, names, and where it was you meant
to travel. (3.7-9)

Here, loss is re-defined not only as the loss of objects or even time, but of memory itself.

Quote #2

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or next-to-last, of three loved houses went. (4.10-11)

These curious statements lead us to wonder what significance these objects, which are no longer random, but rather very specific, have for the poet.

Quote #3

I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster. (5.15)

We’re not sure how the poet lost these places; if she misses them, does that mean she still remembers them? Why might they be inaccessible to her?

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