Elizabeth Bishop Questions and Answers

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bishops carefully judged use of language aids the reader to uncover the intensity of feeling in her poetry

The poem "One Art" represents the best evidence for the thesis that Elizabeth Bishop's careful choice of language (diction) aids the reader in understanding the underlying intensity of her poetry.

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I can think of a number of Bishop's poems that would provide evidence for your thesis that her careful choice of language (diction) underscores her poetic intensity, but the most powerful example would be the villanelle entitled "One Art."

In "One Art," the diction is deceptively simple. The speaker insists that the art of losing things is quite easy and no "disaster." Many things can be lost: keys, time, places, names, houses, rivers, and a continent. What matters most is how readers learn to deal with the inevitable and growing losses. Readers may adopt the speaker's refrain: "The art...

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