Subject One Art
Posted by Angela
Posted on Tue Dec 8 11:59:21 1998
From IP  

The poem "One Art" is an easy poem without any difficult word. But it's not easy to conjecture the speaker's tone. At least it's hard for me. The art of losing is not hard to master. I guess this is the main idea that the speaker wants to express. Almost everyone has a big and obvious change of emotional reaction when he loses something. I think this is normal for common people, including me. Perhaps the speaker has many experiences of losing and has been used to losing, so she thinks that actually losing something is not a big deal. Since you've lost it, just accept it and don't feel sad, angry or nervous. Sad feeling can't change the fact at all. No one can live perfectly without losing anything. Some things are destined to be lost. So he suggests that people should try to accept losing and change their attitude towards it. The speaker thinks that people can learn how to deal with losing through many experiences. She said, "Then practice losing farther, losing faster: / places, and names, and where it was you meant / to travel. None of these will bring disaster." When one has enough experiences, he will be used to it even though lose the things which are very important to him, such as keys, places and names. There is one word missing in the second line. I think it's more reasonable if that word is "intent". It means that some things are destined to be lost in our whole life and we can't importune to avoid it. It's said that the speaker's parents died when she was only a child and she moved from one place to another many times during her childhood. So I think this poem has a very close relation to her living background. In the forth stanza, the speaker uses the past tense. She is talking about her real experience. Even though she lost his mother's watch, which should be very important and significant to her originally, she still thinks that it's not hard to master. Maybe she thinks that the material things are not so important. The most precious things are those which can exist in people's mind forever, like memory. In the fifth stanza, she mentions "two cities", "some realms", "two rivers" and "a continent." I think these things mean the place or environment where she had ever lived before. Because she has been used to moving, it wasn't a disaster,too. And missing doesn't mean that it is a disaster. It just means a nostalgic feeling. Maybe it's a disaster in the early experience. However, it isn't after many experiences. I've ever had a similar experience. During the six years of my elementary school, I studied in three different schools. Due to it, I couldn't get along with my classmates for a longer time. When I had some good friends finally, I had to leave them because of transferring and get acquainted with new friends again. Strange environment and unfamiliar people surround me again and again. Honestly, I think it's a terrible and unhappy experience. I don't think that most people can imagine how this kind of lonely and afraid feeling, which happens again and again, is. I also agree that strange environment will make people become more quiet and express none of his true feeling from the deep part of his heart to others. In my opinion, the speaker's thoughts and feeling are pretty different from me for she has more experiences about moving (just like losing). She thinks that it's not a disaster but I don't. In the last stanza, she refers to a person "you". Perhaps this person is her lover. Breaking up between a couple is usually heartbreaking. But she also thinks that it's not a disaster when she has experienced it. The speaker uses another style of sentence to express. He said, "The art of losing is not too hard to master." I think that there must be a meaning in it. Perhaps this means that it is also a bit hard to master. The rhyme of this poem is regular. The regular rhyme seems to express her constant belief that the art of losing is not hard to master. I admire that the poet writes such a great poem with specific opinion and regular rhyme. This poem is very interesting. I like it.

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