Episode 29

Elizabeth Bishop, One Art


October 6th, 2021

25 mins 16 secs

Season 3

Your Hosts

About this Episode

Elizabeth Bishop was one of the greatest poets of the twentieth century, and "One Art" is certainly one of the greatest villanelles. In this episode, we talk about the poetic form and its constraints. We also draw upon recent scholarship that has revealed a great deal about Elizabeth Bishop's life and work in order to understand the power of poetic constraint.

Click here to read "One Art": https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/47536/one-art

For more about Elizabeth Bishop's life and the cultural context that informed her work, read Megan Marshall's Elizabeth Bishop: A Miracle for Breakfast.

To learn more about the correspondence between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell, read Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence Between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell, edited by Thomas Travisano and Saskia Hamilton.

“One Art” from POEMS by Elizabeth Bishop. Copyright © 2011 by The Alice H. Methfessel Trust. Publisher's Note and compilation copyright © 2011 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Used by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.