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    • POEM: One Art by Elizabeth Bishop (10/7/2007 6:50:00 PM)

      The author tries very hard to detach herself from her pain – a pain so horrible in the end, it is compared constantly to “disaster”; albeit, through barely discernable and subtle skepticism. In shrugging off her losses, she attempts to justify what she hopes will bring her peace – taking loss to an art form. This inhuman feat can never be successfully accomplished – among mere mortals anyway. “Even losing you, ” she says, is obviously the most unbearable of losses – so much so she cannot even she cannot bring herself to write the word and so it is through parenthetic pause (Write it) she once again feels the gravity of her loss – again the word “disaster”.

      Note also that in the first three stanzas she repeats:

      The art of losing is not hard to master.

      When it comes to losing the friend or lover that statement becomes:

      The art of losing is not too hard to master.

      To me, this puts the reader on notice that if it we were to simply remove the word “not”, the true meaning of the poem is revealed. When one tries to hard to convince me of something, they are usually fooling themselves.