By Elizabeth Bishop
Name: Trista Wu
Student number: 487200477
While we read this poem, we should also consider the background of the author, Elizabeth Bishop. Her mother was mad, when she was about one or two years old. She was told that her mother was dead. While she knew that her mother was still alive, her mother was in bad health. Then, her mother died very soon. She loved to travel. One day, she went to a small town. She loved that place very much and she found her lover there. She bought three houses and she had a happy time there. Nevertheless, her lover committed suicide at last. She was very sad, and therefore she came back to her hometown.
According to the sad background of Elizabeth, we can find that this poem seems to describe the author' feeling of loss. In the first line (The art of losing isn't hard to master), it seems that loss is nothing. She seems to try to comfort the pain of loss (or we may say that she tries to comfort herself). Because lots of thing is have the intentions to lose, it is not a disaster to be lost. Then, she begins describing the loss of small things, like door key, the hour badly spent. Again, the art of loss is not hard to master. However, the loss of thing become farther and faster: places, and names, and where it was you ("you"may mean her lover or herself) meant to travel. Again, she says that none of these will bring disaster. She tried to convey herself that she feels nothing about loss. Then, she lost her mother 's watch (means the loss of her mother) and three loved houses where she spent happy time with her lover. (The disappear of their happy time.) Again, the art of loss is not hard to master. The next stanza is an important part. Because she starts to say that she miss them. The reason why she lost two cites is that she thins that she do not belong there two cites. Because both of these two cities had sad memories existed. Owing to deep sorrow, she can never know where she belongs to (realms and continent and rivers) at last stanza, it seems to describe the loss of her lover. ("You". The joking voice, a gesture. I love)
She, finally, commits that it is a disaster. (the art of losing "is not too hard" to master. "Though it may look like (write it!) Like disaster.) In this poem, the poet keeps on using the sentences of "that art of loss is not hard to master" and " it isn't a disaster." Both of there two sentences present how sad and sorrow the poet are. It really a poet that describes the poet' sad life.