Comparing Still I Rise And One Art

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“Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou and “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop are two tales of tenacity. Both poems are centered around failure, and were both written by influential, American, female poets, in the 1970s. However, they are two very different perspectives of failure, and two separate kinds of oppression. Elizabeth Bishop writes about an emotional oppression, and the belief that becoming upset can hold people down, and says that not emotional disasters will stop her. Maya Angelou writes about a more literal oppression, as an African American woman of the time period, and her perseverance. Both poems make ample use of repetition in the endings of their stanzas. However, the contrast between the repeated lines is what makes these two poems most different. “One Art” repeats the phrase, “The art of losing isn’t hard to master,”…show more content…
The poetic devices used throughout both poems are very similar. They both touch on metaphorical scenarios, for example, Elizabeth Bishop did not literally own cities, rivers, and continents and lose them. She is comparing her losses to enormous physical things, to paint the image of her grief. Maya Angelou did not literally have gold mines in her back yard, or oil wells in her living room, she is comparing her attitude to physical things as well. While the two poets use metaphorical scenarios to give the reader a greater image their emotion, they are two very separate emotions. However, they both lead up to a positive ending. Elizabeth Bishop quotes, “…the art of losing’s not too hard to master though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.” She is meaning that even the largest of perceived failures are not as detrimental as they seem. Angelou conveys a similar message, ending her poem with repletion of, “I rise. I rise. I rise.” This exemplifies her resilience through difficult times, just as Bishop does. These poems were written by two of the most influential female poets during the 1970s, and they both
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