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Elizabeth Bishop's One Art and The Waiting Room

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American poet and short story writer Elizabeth Bishop lived between February 8, 1911- October 6, 1979. She won many awards such as The Pulitzer Prize, The National Book award, and The Neustadt International Prize for literature in 1976. Bishop was said to work obsessively on her poems and would spend years perfecting them. Two out of the many poems she wrote were “One Art”( a poem about a woman who says we can master the art of losing), and “The Waiting Room” (A speaker describing her experience as a young girl reading the National Geographic magazine, taking place on February 1918). Elizabeth implicitly used the two poems to demonstrate how people are connected through their own vulnerability. Everyone has emotions to certain images or certain situations in life. These emotions can make a person terrified of what they truly feel. In “One Art” Elizabeth begins the poem, “The Art of losing isn't hard to master.”(1.1,2.6, 4.12) the speaker in the poem wants us to believe that we can lose things without having an emotional bondage to it. By practicing losing she feels we can master it, but losing and having emotional response to the loss is something that is human. Its as if shes afraid to admit that loss in her life has affected her. In “The Waiting Room”, Elizabeth a young girl whether the poet herself or a speaker she invented was surprised by what she felt. “What took me/completely by surprise/was that it was my voice in my mouth.”(44-47), when Elizabeth hears her aunt cry out from the dentists office, she felt she was the one crying out, as if they were living the painful experience together. Although her aunt wasn't there looking at the magazine with her, her response portrayed how she felt inside due to the images she was ... ... middle of paper ... ...Bishop doesn't clearly show the common ways people connect. In her poems she demonstrates a unique concept how people connect through vulnerability, how people fear of the unknown and fear of their true emotions. In sharing those fears and true emotions people connect in a deeper level. The idea that we open ourselves to tell someone what we feel or what has frightened us is a passage we open to show our true selves. Showing our true selves is an experience that will be forever ingrained in our memories, but be wise to whoever you choose to open up to. Works Cited Bishop, Elizabeth. “One Art.” Literature: A Portable Anthology. Eds. Gardener, Janet, et al. 3Rd ed. Boston: Bedford/ St.Martins, 2013. 455. Print Bishop, Elizabeth. “The Waiting Room” Literature: A Portable Anthology. Eds. Gardener, Janet, et al. 3Rd ed. Boston: Bedford/ St.Martins, 2013. 455. Print