The Art of Losing

Brett Candlish Millier: “[Elizabeth Bishop’s] ‘One Art’ is an exercise in the art of losing, a rehearsal of the things we tell ourselves in order to keep going, a speech in a brave voice that cracks once in the final version and cracked even more in the early drafts. The finished poem may be the best modern example of a villanelle and shares with its nearest competitor, Theodore Roethke‘s justly famous ‘The Waking’—’I wake to sleep and take my waking slow’—the feeling that in the course of writing or saying the poem the poet is giving herself a lesson, in waking, in losing. Bishop’s lines share her ironic tips for learning to lose and to live with loss.” (See the full text of the poem.)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s