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Word Count: 1,395
Can one ever practice losing enough to master it Is it possible to become a master at losing such as an artist can become a master painter writer or sculptor The speaker in the poem One Art presents this question and provides an answer The poem is an illustration of a common human affliction--grief and regret caused by the loss of another human Through the use of value progression and the interweaving of denotative and connotative meaning the speaker shows that no matter how much a person tries to prepare for the loss of one he or she loves grief and regret are inevitable By comparing the phrase the art of losing isnt hard to master with the frequently used word disaster the meaning begins to take shape This phrase is used four times in this nineteen-line poem lines 1 6 12 18 Considered closely with the word disaster also used four times one sees the speaker is making a point of rhyming the words master and disaster to emphasize the denotative point that many losses are not disasters--they can be accepted without grief or regret 3 9 15 19 Yet the phrase the art of losing throws a connotative meaning into the mix by indicating that losing an uncontrollable event can be a learned skill Taken together the phrase coupled with the word disaster provides foreshadowing to the paradox of trying to prepare to lose a person The Oxford English Dictionary can shed light onto this interweaving of denotative and connotative meaning Art 1 Skill in doing anything as the result of knowledge and practice Human skill as an agent human workmanship Opposed to nature 2 An industrial pursuit or employment of a skilled nature a craft Losing 1 The action of LOSE Perdition destruction the being lost or to be in process of being lost 2 The fact of losing something specified or contextually implied The being deprived of or the failure
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