“Bishop had been practicing the art of losing since infancy; art had become her one means of mastery. ‘One Art’ was the elegy she had wanted for so long to write.”

Above: a cool interpretation of Elizabeth Bishop’s “One Art,” by Erica Tachoir.

There’s an excellent article re: the story behind Elizabeth Bishop’s “One Art” up at The New Yorker. (Megan Marshall, October 27, 2016.)  The poem was inspired by Bishop’s love affair with Alice Methfessel, who was over thirty years younger than Bishop.

Read ELIZABETH AND ALICE: The last love affair of Elizabeth Bishop, and the losses behind “One Art.”

The original last stanza of the poem read:

One might think this would have prepared me
for losing one average-sized not exceptionally
beautiful or dazzlingly intelligent person
(except for blue eyes)
But it doesn’t seem to have, at all …

 

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