What similarities are there in the poems "Long Distance II" by Tony Harrison and "One Art" by Elizabeth Bishop?

Both "Long Distance II" by Tony Harrison and "One Art" by Elizabeth Bishop deal with the subject of loss and end by apostrophizing the person whom the speaker has lost, giving the poems a similar haunting quality.

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Both "Long Distance II" by Tony Harrison and "One Art" by Elizabeth Bishop are about experiences of loss. Harrison's poem consists of four quatrains, rhymed abab (except the final stanza, which varies the scheme to abba), and begins with his father's reaction to his mother's death. The speaker understands his father's refusal to accept his loss at least partly because, as the final quatrain reveals, his own attitude to loss is much the same.

"One Art" is also a short, formal poem, a villanelle, though Bishop varies the repeated lines as the poem progresses. Unlike Harrison's poem, the tone is light at first. However, like Harrison, Bishop suggests that there is more to loss than one might think. Losing is an art, which takes practice, and this is just as well, since life affords a great deal of this practice.

Also like Harrison's poem, Bishop's ends with the speaker's own loss of another human being. Both speakers suddenly address the one who is lost in the second person, with self-conscious irony since the lost individual is, by definition, not there. This similarity in the conclusions of the two poems means that the reader is left with a similar sense of being haunted by loss at the end of each, despite the marked divergence in tone earlier on.

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