Subject Losing
Posted by Cindy
Posted on Tue Dec 8 18:08:52 1998
From IP  

: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.; The speaker took losing as a kind of art. Something you got to learn so that you could go inside it deeper and deeper. The art of losing isn・t hard to master. Because everyone is losing since he was born. :Lose something every day. Accept the fluster of lost door keys, the hour badly spent. The art of losing isn・t hard to master.; Even you do nothing more than sitting there in silence, you are losing your time. Once you own something, you would lose it one day, soon or later. If human being could realize the cold and cruel truth, they might not be so sad whenever they lose something. However, there are few could do such a thing. Therefore, loss is always a sort of disaster.
:Then practice losing farther, losing faster: places, and names, and where it was you meant to travel. None of these will bring disaster.; When we are just little babies, we lost little. Because not only we have not much to lose, but also we are unaware of the sense of losing. With time we grow up, and we own much more. We will have friends, lovers, money, business and so on. We have more opportunities to lose. The speaker used the word :practice; to support the idea :art.; However, we know it・s not practicing at all when we are losing. There is no chance to recover in our life. Throughout our whole life, we would be many places,
every time we leave, we lose them. The word :names; may be related to people the speaker have ever known. When they didn・t keep in touch, the speaker lost them in some way. The speaker also lost where it was she meant to travel. When you really go where you long to, the place doesn・t give you the same feeling in your heart anymore. It・s another way of losing.
:I lost my mother・s watch. And look! My last, or next-to-last, of three loved houses went. The art of losing isn・t hard to master.; The word :watch; might have the connotations of care and concern. Then the speaker said :look!; it seems that the speaker wanted everybody to look at her loss of everything. Maybe she wanted to express that she didn・t care about how much she had lost and how much she would lose. Anyway she had lost so much she loved, it doesn・t matter if she would lose more. Three loved houses should be relevant to the author・s life. Elizabeth Bishop had been a lot of different countries all over the world. And she said :my last, or next-to-last; tell us that no one knows if she will stay there forever, even herself. The author may not know where she should belong to since she had been so many places. Again, the speaker said, :the art of losing isn・t hard to master.; She mentioned the sentence many times, it sounds like kind of talking to herself. It feels like she wanted to convince herself to accept the truth of losing. She could do nothing to recover what she had lost. So she just try to let it go. Maybe she thought it・s a way to protect herself from being sad whenever losing.
: I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster, some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent. I miss them, but it wasn・t a disaster.; The stanza talks about her life again. She had left some lovely cities and rivers and a continent. Maybe she had to move from where she loved to live because of some reasons. For the speaker, leaving is another form of losing. She didn・t live on the earth; she didn・t own it anymore. However, she tried to convince herself to let it go again.
:-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.; The :you; might be the speaker・s lover.
She tried to pretend that even losing her lover, his joking voice and a gesture she loved, she wouldn・t be too sad. It would be no disaster at all.
Then, she admitted after all. :I shan・t have lied.; She should not try to hide her true feeling. So she said, :the art of losing・s not too hard to master though it may look like (write it!) like disaster.; She added the word :too; to what she had emphasized several times before. She confessed the kind of art is a little hard to master. Also there are two :like,; it reveals her hesitation. She was not so strong any more. She even talked to herself to write it. Emotionally, she might know what she was writing was not true. However she forced herself to write it down. She wanted to be what she had written, didn・t care about losing. But she cannot make it really.
Besides, the poem is of a very regular form. All the sentences end with same rhymes :r; or :t.; Five stanzas for three lines and the last stanza for four lines. Maybe it indicates that losing is one rule, one owns something and then loses something.
To my way of thinking, it・s true that everyone is losing as long as he is alive. However, you gain something precious at same time. That・s memory!!!

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