Monday, March 3, 2008

Period Four - Explication Analysis

For this assignment, I want you to read the following Poem Explication and comment about the writing.
Focus on what works and what may need improvement in the explication. Focus on the student's assertion, support, organization, style, etc. I included the poem first, then the paper. You will need to read the poem to understand the paper. This is a paper from a student in period 2.

Your response should be a full paragraph in length (8 to 10 sentences). This is due by March 7th.


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.



Poem Explication: One Art by Elizabeth Bishop

In the poem One Art by Elizabeth Bishop, the speaker shows the audience that losing things is infinitesimal compared to losing the one she loves. She reveals herself through repetition and metaphor, but it is mostly her diction that tells her feelings
In the first line she says “The art of losing isn’t hard to master”. The line sets up the mood that losing things is easy. Though by repeating it in lines 6 and 12, she puts emphasis on the words and seems to want that line to be the truth. In the last repetition of the first line, she adds the word “too”. This means that it is hard to master, to some extent, though the end result “may look like…disaster (line 19)” She further backs it up her original statement by saying that their intent is “to be lost” (line 3), saying that things are meant to be lost, no matter what happens. She instructs the audience to “lose” and “accept” (line 4), which suggests that she has gone through loss before and it would be better to accept losing things since it would not hurt as much. She then instructs the audience to “practice” (line 7) losing, so her heart will not be crushed when the audience is accustomed to losing. By line 6, the speaker gets frantic. Her words become careless and the words take a sort of rhythm. She says “losing farther, losing faster”. Both phrases start with the word losing and start with the letter f. She then loses “places, and names, and where it was [she] meant / to travel” (lines 8-9). She lost more important things, but they were bearable. At this point, she is still talking to her original audience. When she says “And look! My last, or / next-to-last” (line 10), the exclamation point indicates a careless abandon. The fact that she can’t point out any details of the item she lost shows she doesn’t care about it and it doesn’t matter. She starts using the first person, saying that the items she lost were hers. She starts out losing small things like “lost door keys, the hour badly spent”. Then she lost her “mother’s watch” and then “three loved houses”, but still she was able to bear with it. She lost “two cities”, “some realms [she] owned, two rivers, a continent” (line 13-14) but it didn’t matter to her. The things she lost were worth nothing to her and were easily disposable. But there is one thing that she can’t just throw away.
The only time she admits that she misses any of her items is when she mentions her pairs of items, two cites, two rivers, and the item that hold them together, the continent. This is a metaphor to show that she misses the unity between herself and her lover. But she can’t have it anymore because she lost both pairs of items, symbolizing she also lost the relationship. The shift of the poem occurs in the last stanza of the poem. She admits she “shan’t have lied” when saying losing things is easy because she found the one thing that hurts to lose: “you”. Her audience changes to her lover. She still loves him; she uses the present tense word “love”. She hasn’t gotten over it. Looking back, she seems to be losing things to cope with the loss she has suffered. She thought if she lost some things, she might get used to the feeling of loss and accept his loss. But it didn’t happen that way. She still loves that man no matter what.
The speaker of the poem loss of the one she loves could not possibly compare to any other loss. She has a hard time getting the words out at the last line, prompting her to include the words “Write it!” just to get that last word out. She doesn’t want it to be true, but because of the nature of the poem, (it’s a villanelle) she has to say it. She says that losing a loved one is the hardest type of losing there is.

27 comments:

Belinda said...

Wow. The explication is amazing. Everything is written so clearly and so straight forward. I loved how she is able to connect the pairs of items with the relationship inside the poem. I have not thought of that while reading it. Also the assertion was direct and fits the explication really well. The organization was done with great care. I can tell that it is following the poem itself. I liked the idea of how this person is able to compare the lost of objects to the loss of a loved one through the explication. It starts off only talking about the little things being lost, sort of following the flow of the poem, mentioning the small objects being lost at first. Then as the poem gets more intense about the loss of something else, so does the explication. It goes with the poem, explaining towards the end how she is unable to say losing someone does not hurt. I thought that there was a lot of really good evidence to support the assertion. I thought that this explication is really great. And by the way I love the poem!

Lynn T. 4 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynn T. 4 said...

The person who wrote this poem said "seems to want that line to be the truth". I think she knew what she wanted to say, and should have used another word than "seem" because you either think she wants you to think one way or not. However, I like how the person recognized that their was importance in repeating the phrase. I like the line "suggests that the person has gone through loss before and it would be better to accept losing things since it would not hurt as much." I agree with her. I also like when the person notices that the words become "careless", I thought that was an ingeniious way to describe the poem. I thought this explication was really great, it was descriptive and she explained everything that was important. I agree when the person says the poem is about losing a loved one is the worst lost there is.

Victoria P. 4 said...

This explication is written very well. I really like the assertion because it is very straight forward and explains the poem very well. The writer is able to get the point across by comparing loosing things compared to loosing a loved one. The writer also makes sure she quotes and gives enough evidence to back up her belief on the poem and the significance of why it is written. I liked the way that she mentioned the symbolism of the lost pair to loosing the relationship. In my opinion the explication was very easy to read but yet still was on a high (advanced) honors level. She picked a good poem to write about and was able to explain it very nicely.

Mr. Walsh said...

Victoria, good job noticing how the writer picked a strong poem to write about. This is the key to explication. If you choose rich passages/poems, you will be able to write more and with more thought.

Ngoc D. 4 said...

Wow, I’m amazed. The explication is really thorough, and it follows one direction. The explication follows one track and doesn’t fray from it, which is really nice. I like how the person mentions the mood, the rhythm and the audience of the poem that sometimes often gets overlooked. He/she really paid attention to details, such as punctuation marks that made the explication worth much more. Also, the person carefully chooses details that are relevant to his/her assertion. The way the explication is broken up into paragraph is good too. The evidences that he/she provided flows nicely into the explication, there were no awkwardness. I really liked how the writer says that the pair is a metaphor. One thing I noticed is the line “Both phrases start with the word losing and start with the letter f.” It kind of left me hanging (or I missed the point) with “both start with the letter f.” What is the significance of it?

laura b said...

This explication is great. The person who wrote this seems to understand the poem so well. Everything is written straight forward and very easy to understand. I though it was great how she compare losing little things to big things “love.” The writer of this explication had great evidence that supported her opinions. It seems she went with the flow just like the poem did too. The writer also does a good job letting us know what the writer of the poem uses in literacy devices. I loved the poem she chose and I also loved her explication. It’s great!

will h 4 said...

this is a great explication. the writer has a very strong assertion. i really liked how this person referenced the text many times to support her assertion. this person has tons of evedince and this helps to his/her point across. every peice of evidence is organized to make it easy to follow. everything is headed in one direction, the analysis. her analysis is very good. it wraps up everything that she discussed in her expination. her last sentance ends the expication very well.

Marissa G 4 said...

This explication truly explains the meaning of the poem. While reading the poem I only thought it was about that loses is a part of life that is always going to happen. I had not realized it was about a relationship. They use a lot of examples but when you go further into the explication it sort of switches how there interpreting it. They go from using all the quotes and explaining what those mean to its about she is purposely losing things to get over her bigger loss. I got more out the last two paragraphs then the rest of the explication. They really must have thought about this poem. Or while writing all the quotes meanings they realized what the bigger picture was. I didn’t really get the jump for the quotes to the larger idea of the poem. Overall this is a good explication they are very straight forward with there explanations of the quotes. They did a really good job.

Mr. Walsh said...

Some context for this poem I stumbled across. There is debate about how autobiographical this poem is: Bishop lost her father at an early age and shortly before this poem was written, she had left Brazil (two continents?) back to America. She left her lover after committing infidelity and falling deeper into alcoholism. Her lover followed her back to New York and committed suicide.

There is much in the poem that points to an autobiographical read. Though, I caution a read of this. I find this interesting. Oh and I love this poem.

Amir Q. 4 said...

Wow, very nicely written explication. The author seemed to be able to “take apart” every sentence and analyze it for anything that may have been there (deeper meanings, symbolism, etc.). On my first read of the poem, I did not pick up on the autobiographical nature of the poem, but now that I have read it again, it seems apparent to me that the author began writing the poem but then switched topics cleverly. In that she did not truly go off topic but managed to change the subject to her own life’s experience and turned the poem into an autobiography. The author was able to connect the theme of the poem to her own experiences to get her point across very well. The poem itself was probably not meant to be an autobiography, more-so to just use her life as examples of the theme, although the author may have gone a bit too much into it. Back to the explication, the writer not only was able to find deeper meanings in the poem but also connected them seamlessly and never truly went off topic. The writer’s assertion is not only well thought off and written but backed up by almost the entire poem. The writer’s analysis of the poem and the ability to find such minor details in the poem and use them to her advantage (such as “The fact that she can’t point out any details of the item she lost shows she doesn’t care about it”) is great. This explication is very thoughtfully written.

Katherine Z 4 said...

The explication was absolutely amazing. At first when I read the poem I didn’t fully grasp the meaning, I got that the author was used to losing items, but I didn’t pick up on the losing of relationships. I thought the writer did a really great job of picking out strong quotes and backing it up with her own analysis. The explication followed the poem stanza, by stanza, explaining each section. I really liked how the writer picked out different techniques that the author uses, like metaphor, simile and repetitive words. He/She then explain what’s behind the use of those techniques; overall I thought that the explication was really well written. One thing I would point out was that I noticed that the writer kept on starting a sentence with “She” referring to the author in sentences. It gets kind of repetitive; if she would change the “she” to a different word I thought it would make the poem sound a little better perhaps.

Steven E. 4 said...

This explication starts off with a very good assertion. It sets up the rest of the poem by telling you what the main idea is. A lot of detail is put into this poem. The writer gives specific lines in the poem for evidence and uses many quotes. The writer ends the explication good by refering back to the text.

Steven E. 4 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jonathan C. 4 said...

That was a pretty good explication. The writer has an assertion and stands strong with it. They use lots of evidence to back up everything they say, which makes their assertion seem more and more correct. There was lots of analyzing in this explication that fit well. There was a little bit of summerizing but it did not stray from the actual question that they were trying to answer, which is good. The only negative thing I can say is that I didn't really like the ending. I mean, it was strong through the whole thing and the ending seemed to be a little blunt. Also, it is a little repetitive, but overall the explication is really good and well written.

Thanh N. 4 said...

Whoever wrote the explication did a really good job. He/She knew what they were talking about and stayed at the main point. I thought they could use different words at the beginning of the sentence because "She" makes the explication a little boring to read. However, she let the reader know that she fully understood the story. Also, the person's assertion was really debatable. Another thing is their use of the quotes. When they use it, it's not choppy, like it flowed with their sentence well, and it helped them prove their point. They knew how to use the poet's lines into the explication. Overall, they explication was written well, except the repetition of "she" at the beginning of many sentences.

Andy T. 4 said...

Wow, this was really good. The writer has a very strong assertion and is very clear throughout her explanation. A lot of details and evidence to back up the assertion. The writer broke the poem down very well noticing all the symbols and analyzed it very well. The explanation is very easily read and is well written too. The poem was really interesting. Everything was very well organized and the analysis was great. Good job!

Kellie L 4 said...

Wow, this explication was very well written. I think that the assertion was a strong starting point. It was straightforward and explained exactly what she talked about throughout the explication. I also liked how her evidence related back to her assertion. I think she analyzed the poem very well because she talked about the different metaphors and symbolism. I also enjoyed reading this explication because it was easy to read and not awkward. I liked the flow between quotes and her citings. But, I think that the word "she" is used a lot in the explication. Overall, this poem was very nice because she got the point across through her assertion, backed up the topic with evidence, and analyzed the poem very well.

Jen-T 4 said...

I agree with what everyone said in this blog. I loved how the writer made a very strong assertion to being the eexplication. I thought that it really set the tone for the rest of the peom. The writer seemed to really know their material when it came to writing the explanation by the way they used tons of detail/ examples. I also enjoyed reading the writers analaysis on the examples they used bc it was very precise and to the point. The writer displayed a clear knowledge about the poem and what it symbolized. Overall, I think the writer did an amzing job and not only was there style of writing easy for me to read and understand but it was very "to the point" and precise. I congradulate the writer. =]

Mr. Walsh said...

Just to counter Jonathan's point, I liked the ending, though I wouldn't recommend everyone trying it. ONE ART is a villanelle, and because of the use of this form, the author has to write the word disaster.

The writer of the explication cleverly adds this point in, almost like a throwaway - yet it is the crux of understanding the poem. Here, the writer kept to his/her style, while delivering a strong point.

It is a difficult thing to do. I applaud the writer on that subtle insert.

casey w. 4 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
casey w. 4 said...

I want to start off by congratulating the writer of this explication because it was outstanding. Mr. Walsh, you should be proud of the methods you taught us =). Anyway, the author of this explication thoroughly examined this poem line by line. The evidence that was used was terrific. The writer talked about basically every line and then analyzed it. The author also had a great vocabulary, using words like “infinitesimal” was impressive. I also agree with Toria about the poem the author picked because that is the base of an explication. It is hard to write a great explication with a weak poem. Everything the writer used was build off the assertion there was hardly any summarizing at all and that is hard to do. Well it is hard for me anyways. I also agree with Ngoc when she said how she liked the way the author mentions the audience. The writer of this explication was well prepared for this essay and knew what they were talking about because they found the true meaning of the poem.

Mat M. 4 said...

The writer of this explication has done an outstanding job when writing about the poem “One Art”. There is not one negative thing that I have to say about this explication. What I especially like is her constant reference to the text, although it may seem cluttered with quotes, supports her assertion in order to prove it. One thing that I have never done is that the writer suggests the emotion of the speaker. I think that that was I great way to look deeper into the poem. I may use that the next explication I write. Her analysis is right to the point and very focused along with her evidence. This is an example of a top-quality explication. Great work!

Malik B. 4 said...

This explication is very well written and I find the evidence integrated well into it. Despite a few grammatical mistakes the explication accurately provides an in depth analysis of the poem. The involvement of literary devices such as metaphors and repetition show an understanding of both the poem and the devices. The literary connections also strengthen the assertion and ties it all together. Also the different types of quote integration only adds to the overall analysis. This person's different means of support shows a great ability to back up their assertion. I also agree that having a meaningful poem that others as well as yourself can connect to helps analyze and explore the ideas presented.

Elaine T 4 said...

Good gosh! This explication really amazing. This explications has great evidence that backs up her strong assertion and she has such great structure to her explication. This explication was not confusing whatsoever. I knew exactly what she was trying to get at because her thought process is so laid out and easy to follow because she explains and backs up her view that I had no trouble at all. Not only was her assertion a strong one, she picked a very good poem to write about. A good poem with lots of evidence helps a lot. (I wish my poem was better…It seems much easier when your poem is evidence filled…) However, I don’t quite get the evidence “Both phrases start with the word losing and start with the letter f.” What was that meaning to the poem?

::HebaK:: 4 said...

The writer of the explication did an excellent job analyzing the quotes and the poem. They seemed confident about it, and evidence was used well. Also there weren’t any big problems. However a slight problem was that “she” was used to often. Over all the writing style was unique and to the point, and the explication was great.

Ashley N. 4 said...

The author really analyzed every sentence and found at least something in it, whether it be deeper meanings, symbolism, etc. I didn't see a lot of of the stuff the author mentioned when I first read the poem, like the self-reflection part of it. After reading the explication and the poem again, I began to see it. Also, the transition from the poem to the author's own personal experience emphasized her point well. The author connected and had support for every piece of evidence and everything was well thought out. The author uses the vagueness of the poem to help prove her point, because she manipulates the evidence so that it agrees with her analysis, which is a really good thing to do because poems are so vague and you can interperet them as anything.