#7 | Poem: One Art by Elizabeth Bishop

Poem: One Art by Elizabeth Bishop

Vocabulário:

1. FLUSTER = afobação, perturbação. “Accept the fluster | of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.”

2. OWN = ter, possuir.

3. REALM = reino. “I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster, | some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.”

Elizabeth Bishop

Elizabeth Bishop was born in 1911 in Massachusetts.  When she was less than a year old, her father died, and shortly after that, her mother was committed to an asylum because of a mental breakdown. Bishop was first sent to live with her maternal grandparents in Nova Scotia and later lived with paternal relatives in Worcester and South Boston. Her adult life remained unsettled, and after graduating from Vassar College, she travelled a lot and lived in New York, Florida, Boston and Brazil.

Bishop’s alienation in her early years and her later travels became the inspiration for her poetry.  Her poetry is filled with descriptions of her travels and the scenery that surrounded her. Her images are precise and true to life, and they reflect her own sharp humour and moral sense.  She published four volumes in her lifetime, and although her production was relatively small, her work was greatly celebrated for its sharp observations and precise use of language.  She won the Pulitzer Prize for her first volume North and South, and became the first woman to receive the Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 1976. She died in Boston following a brain aneurism in 1979.

One Art by Elizabeth Bishop

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.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

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.

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.

—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.

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