Subject Nostalgic art...
Posted by Sherry
Posted on Mon Dec 7 21:20:24 1998
From IP  

Remember that I・ve told you that I love the poem as I love a cup of hot cocoa? Well, this time it wasn・t like a cup of hot cocoa, but more like a cup of coffee with its bitter yet sweet taste. Let me tell you the reason.
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.
I feel that Elizabeth Bishop wants to tell us that if one is not careful enough, one may lose easily, whether a thing, a person, or a kind of feeling. It is not hard to lose something; the hard part is that we can・t take it afterward. And here it seems rather sarcastic, since in the poem it is saying of the things that seem to be filled with the intent to be lost. If this were true, then what・s the use of taking care of our possessions, or our feeling? She・s making it clear that if we lose something, it won・t be a disaster; therefore, why should we worry about that?
Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour bad spent.
The art of losing isn・t hard to master.
Now the poet is presenting our everyday problems that do make us :fluster;. Imagine that we lost our door keys. I・ve lost it once, and the nervousness, oh, no! This word is not enough to express my feeling at that very moment! I was only ten years old. I completely lost my head. I thought the world is over at the time. And the badly spent hours. I used to hate myself when I fooled around even for only two minutes. It was sin to me. However, with the time goes by, nothing seem to matter that much. If I had lost a key, I would go and make the storekeeper make me another; if I goofed around again, I would tell myself that tomorrow I・ll be good. Things are losing their senses already, only making it losing gradually, so that we may not notice it by now, only to make us regret it later.
Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.
I・m beginning to feel something when I reached to this stanza. I feel that the speaker is saying of how one make him/herself loses memory of anything that has to do with the :you; the speaker has mentioned. The :you; could have been someone quite important to the speaker, but now the speaker is making him/her losing it without hesitation and without limitation. :KlosingKwhere it was you meant to travel.; Here the sentence makes me feel like losing one・s dream they used to have, but now it doesn・t matter as much as before.
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.
Usually we consider the things that our ancestors or elders have given us are supposed to be kept well and if we had lost it, we would feel very depressed. In here, the speaker is trying to behave like nothing important has lost, or that it doesn・t matter whether these things are kept well or not. The speaker is forcing herself to think that it・s no big deal to lose something. Not even the watch of her/him mom; not even the houses she/he loved the most. And she kept on emphasizing that it・s not difficult to lose things.
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.
An interesting idea is hidden in here. On the previous stanzas, the speaker never mentioned that :I miss them;. I・m thinking that the speaker had :lost; cities, rivers and a continent, this probably is a hint of telling us that he/she had lost his/her country, her birth place, or somewhere he/she had a special remembrance of, whether by war, by leaving the place (could be out of force), or any other reason. The speaker is beginning to think of the things she/he had lost, starting to feel interested in them, or in other words, starting to care about what she really feels, instead of hiding them, and forcing herself to reject the feeling of missing them. Still, the speaker kept on with the stubbornness, and said that it wasn・t a disaster.
--- 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.
I felt my heart breaking when I reached to this stanza. The speaker was already sad enough; still, he/she couldn・t face the reality of losing her/him. And we can notice especially that the idea the speaker kept on repeating (the sentence :the art of losing isn・t hard to master;) has been changed by adding :too;. The speaker is making the tone sound as if he/she doesn・t care, but the truth is, he/she cares a lot about this matter of losing :you;!
It is never easy to accept that you have lost someone. Mostly, like in this poem, the loss of someone we love is the most unbearable thing. It sounds as if the speaker didn・t lie to him/herself of the truth of losing someone; however, there・s this huge sadness and pain that the speaker is hiding inside the heart, but it would be too cruel to be spoken out loud.
I guess you must know why am I feeling like the speaker, of why I was thinking of someone when I read this poem. I bet you may have the same feeling as the speaker does, not exactly, but you do.

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