Type: Literary Analysis
Pages: 2 | Words: 577
Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Without doubt the poem “One Art” by Margaret Atwood is an ironical masterpiece which reveals the emotional state of the personality. From the first lines of the poem we feel the irony, for example, the author names the photograph in the different ways “blurred lines”, “grey flecks”. It seems to me that Margaret Atwood wants to show that a photograph can not reveal the state of soul of the person; it is not deep image of personality. She wants to persuade the reader not to believe the first sight and the first impression. This poem is the philosophical reflection about the purpose of life.

This is a blank verse. The tone of writing is sad, melancholic and ironic.

This poem has a lot of interpretations because its meaning is deep and touches the inner world of the person. As for me the word “photograph” in this poem is not taken picture, it implies “life”. Of course our life as our photographs is different; every person chooses his/her way. One can feel that the lyrical hero of this poem feel regret for the past, she does not realize he dreams and now her heart is full of regret, pain and memories.

The lyrical hero of this poem is the woman who wants to be noticed, who wants attention and who feels solitude. She is shadowed by the household duties, my man and by the stereotypes which do not allow her to be in the center. She is not sure whether she is independent and free. She names herself “a thing that is like a branch: part of a tree”. It means that she is dependent and she can not act as she wishes.

The poem is full of themes, though the author focuses on love and regret, which we tend to exhibit within us, and which form part of our daily existence. Many people lose different things every day, yet they have not learnt the skill of courage in their losses. The poem is about people accepting loss despite the pains and discouragement that accompany it. The author describes the things which are valuable for her and which provokes nostalgia and sadness in her soul “lake”, “hills”, “small house”. It sounds like the author remembers something and regrets that she can not come back there again. I suppose that the author uses irony and this irony is bitter in order to show that we never appreciate what we have and we begin to need this when we have already lost it. One can notice that the lyrical hero is in despair: “The photograph was taken

the day after I drown.”

The author describes her life experience, her story with the help of parentheses, indicating the information which is important for her: “I am in the lake, in the center of the picture, just under the surface”. It seems to me that this poem is symbolic. Photograph is the symbol of life and the author tries to prove the readers that she has found her place on this photograph. “If you look long enough, eventually, you will be able to see me”.

The author places the unimportant details in brackets however she wants to show that these are the most essential facts and to draw the attention of readers.

In conclusion it is necessary to mention that the poem is penetrated by the different themes: loss of the valuable things, regret and nostalgia for the past, irony of life and the search of the place in life.

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