41 Matching Annotations
  1. Dec 2019
    1. forever.


      Use of forever twice indicating the permanence of death.

    2. white, like a doll

      Metaphor and Symbolism

      It can be assumed that the doll referred to in this stanza is one made of porcelain. What it has all in common with the prints and the stuffed animal is that they look like things that had life but there's a bleakness to them, like a lack of soul.

      A doll itself symbolizes childhood innocence. In the stanza, the doll isn't even painted yet - which means his childhood was unfulfilled, or only beginning but ended early because Jack Frost decided to shut down the project.

    3. little frosted cake

      Symbolism and Metpahor

      Frosting would symbolize something you can use to hide something. Referring to the coffin as a frosted cake may be referring to that fact, that the coffin hides Arthur's true state.

    4. red-eyed loon


    5. white, frozen lake, the marble-topped table.


    6. and the red-eyed loon eyed it


    7. he hadn't said a word.


      The loon is personified by the child by her visualizing it staying silent instead of speaking out.

    8. Imagery

      All of the poem is full of vivid imagery. The child describes the funeral in great detail including other things in the room such as the loon and the chromographs which coincidentally have both significant and unusual connections with Arthur's death. Bishop also uses a lot of word that would be associated with frigidness and the utter motionlessness of death.

    9. lily of the valley

      Internal Rhyme

    10. tiny lily,

      Internal Rhyme

    11. Diction

      Descriptions are are vivid but seem limited to vocabulary because of the child's age.

      Ex.: Arthur's coffin was a little frosted cake...He was all white, like a doll

    12. cold and caressable


    13. stood a stuffed loon shot and stuffed


    14. a few red strokes, and then Jack Frost had dropped the brush and left him white, forever.

      Juxtaposition, Symbolism

      Again, similar to the loon, there is the use of the colors white and red again to juxtapose life and death. The red representing life captured in and of itself while white represents the reality of death (the loon placed on a white table, Arthur with red hair placed in a white coffin that resembles a frosted cake).

    15. Jack Frost


      Jack Frost from mythology is known as a mischievous sprite that brings the frosty weather. One of the earlier depictions or tales about him is that he paints the leaves of the trees during autumn red, orange, yellow, or brown.

    16. lily


      Lilies symbolize that the soul of the departed has received restored innocence after death.

    17. mother

      Symbolism, author has a bad relationship with her mother so she associates her with death.

    18. cold, cold parlor

      use of repetition

    1. .

      The enjambment between the first and second lines causes us to pause and contemplate how ridiculous is this ‘fluster’ that occurs when we lose our keys.

    2. I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster, some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.

      Ideas are getting more and more abstract. These mentions of place are perhaps symbolic of the memories she had of them, or of the relationships she once had there.

      She misses them but it she is still okay and everything is fine.

      Elizabeth BishopOne Art by Elizabeth Bishop

      Elizabeth Bishop’s One Art is a poem whose apparent detached simplicity is undermined by its rigid villanelle structure and mounting emotional tension. Perhaps her most well-known poem, it centres around the theme of loss and the way in which the speaker – and, by extension, the reader – deals with it. Here, Bishop converts losing into an art form and explores how, by potentially mastering this skill, we may distance ourselves from the pain of loss. At eight months old, Elizabeth Bishop lost her father, her mother then succumbed to mental illness and she later lost her lover to suicide. Therefore, we may see this poem as in part autobiographical. In it, the poet presents a list of things we may lose in life, increasing in importance, until the final culmination in the loss of a loved one.

      One Art Analysis

      The title should not be overlooked. With these two small words, Elizabeth Bishop encompasses the poem’s entire purpose: to remove the pain of loss by first levelling out everything that we lose; from door keys to houses to people (One), and second by mastering the fact of losing through practise (Art).

      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. In the first stanza, Bishop sets out her intentions. She seems to affirm that loss is part of the human condition: we lose both significant and insignificant things constantly and should thus accept this as a natural part of life, and even master this practice so as to remove any sensation of disaster we may take from it. These two points will be repeated throughout the poem so as to emphasise them.

      Lose something every day.

      In the second stanza, she invites the reader in by naming two extremely common things to lose: keys and time. The enjambment between the first and second lines causes us to pause and contemplate how ridiculous is this ‘fluster’ that occurs when we lose our keys. She eases us slowly into her idea: the universality of these two occurrences allows us to relate and thus agree that indeed, this is not too hard to master and is certainly not a disaster.

      Then practice losing farther, losing faster: places, and names, and where it was you meant to travel. The emotional tension begins to subtly build in the third stanza as Bishop incites us to further our practise, broadening the scope of our loss. Here, the things we lose are more related to thought and memory: people, places and plans that, with time, naturally escape our head and no longer form part of our lives. This is harder for the reader to accept and the familiar affirmation that this will not bring disaster becomes less comforting. House keys and an hour here and there seem commonplace and natural and to consciously lose these things to aid our mastering of losing does not seem too difficult. Places, names and plans require a larger effort and a degree of emotional distancing that the second stanza did not call for.

      There is a subtle change from the third to the fourth stanza, a perfect split in keeping with the poem’s rigid structure. Almost imperceptibly, the speaker switches from addressing the reader to drawing on her own experience. It is here that Bishop begins to undermine her meticulous structural details and carefully impassive tone. “I lost my mother’s watch”, she states, an admission that seems to come from nowhere. However, the casual tone is disappearing; the inexplicable mention of this personal aspect of the speaker’s life has upped the emotional stakes. As the stanza continues, it becomes clear that this is a further attempt to demonstrate the universality of loss. The picture becomes bigger and the distance larger. The exclamation: “And look!” betrays yet more emotion, despite it’s apparent offhand tone. Now Bishop tells us to look at our losses on a bigger scale: the houses we lived in – not so disastrous except for the use of the word “loved” here. Indeed, these were just places we lived in, but we nonetheless also loved in them.

      The first person speaker continues in the fifth stanza as the poet attempts to further distance herself from loss. She is stepping further and further back and the picture she is painting reaches a higher geographical level: to cities and continents. Nevertheless, this is undermined by a wistful tone: the cities she lost were “lovely ones” and, although she maintains that their loss was not a disaster, she does admit that she misses them. Faced with this unusual outlook, the reader is forced to ask at this point: if the loss of a continent is no disaster, what would thus constitute one?

      Bishop is also a traveller and called a lot of places home

    3. it wasn't a disaster.

      Umm it kind of is?? If you're say a conquistador and you lose two cities, some realms, two rivers, and a continent - it's bad. The magnitude of it would be devastating

    4. —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.

      he fifth stanza leads us to a brief look at the structure of the poem. The villanelle allows for a break in its pattern of tercets and tight rhyme, giving away to one quatrain with a repeated rhyme. Just as the structure cracks, as does the poetic voice. The final stanza opens with a dash, which could perhaps be seen as an attempt at a casual tone but in fact serves to slow the poem down here, allowing for yet more emotion to permeate the final words. The reader is forced to consider this “you”, and we see how the poem has taken a journey: starting with the little objects, going through thought and memory, to houses, places and continents forming one huge picture until at the end, zooming in on and pinpointing this “you”. A “you” with, as we infer from the parentheses, a personality, a memorable tone of voice and gestures. A person lost; an irreplaceable entity, in fact.

    5. three loved houses went.


      All of a sudden, we’re not just talking about misplaced material goods. Now we’re thinking more abstractly about the things of emotional value that we lose.

    6. mother's watch
      • Emotionally symbolic to Bishop.
      • May refer to her relationship with her mother, and time lost to spend moments with her
    7. filled with the intent to be lost


      The object is personified

    8. places, and names, and where it was you meant to travel.