Reading method

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 I assume that the author is alive and unknown in the literary field. I choose from the works the poem which magnetizes me. One Art by Elizabeth Bishop has this quality. I have read the poem many times. I question the function of the refrain – The art of losing is not hard to master. I rewrite the poem without it. I observe the result. I revise what I have just made, maintaining the sentence only in the first and last lines. Reading and rereading, I decide to recover the original version. I read it out loud. I change words. I subvert the order of the facts. I put – mother’s watch between commas right after – lost keys. There are no limits for my boldness. I ruin the work on my will. At every transgression my acceptance of the poem increases. The beauty of the language seduces. It is simple and straight to the point. It is as if Elizabeth introduced her poem to a small group of friends at the Bar Brahma. Her voice is clear with slight oscillations from the emotion   affecting the reading rhythm. We listen, relaxed, the tone of this woman so close. We even forget the greatness of the theme. And notice that Bishop touches in – a permanence in the world (CARPEAUX). The approach is subversive. Life is no bed of roses. Living is collecting losses and normalizing them. Who hasn't lost a house, a district or a whole country? And with the support of the loss, its main characters and, no rare, its story? People of flesh and bone, lost. And the remaining, immeasurable emptiness. Everything is lost, the poet tells us, even love. The colloquial approach builds a tragedy in the brevity of a short poem. I feel it suddenly cold. Lucid. Losing, whatever it may be, it is not a serious matter. Accept the unchangeable. Chin up. Move on. It is a life demand. The accident’s own power, no matter its proportion, fades into the daily activities. Forgetfulness is the shroud of the dead (SAND). So do not make a storm in a teacup. Consider it. Even death, we shall agree – is not hard to master.   


 Note: 1 - Reflection about the poem “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop, which was selected to be published in the Pixé magazine’s January 2020 edition 


About the Author: 

Ricardo Carranza

São Paulo, 1953. Architect and Urbanist, M. A. in Urban Environmental Structures, Writer, Editor, Painter. Publications – Scortecci, Sesc, Cult, Clesi, Zunái, Stéphanos, Germina, Cult, Mallarmargens, Cronópios, Renato Suttana’s file, Triplov, & Writings. org., Guetto, Din Manifest. Poetry Books: Sextet, Author’s Edition, São Paulo, 2010; The Empirical Flower, Author's Edition, São Paulo, 2011; Dramas, G&C, São Paulo, 2012. Winter’s Spark, G&C, São Paulo, 2019. Articles and Assays in since 2005.


How to quote:

CARRANZA, Ricardo. My reading method. 5% Arquitetura + Arte, São Paulo, year 14, v. 01, n.18, e125, p. 1-2, Jul./Dec./2019. Available at:


English translation by:

Caroline Parente Cardelino

M.A. Nívia Maria Rodrigues Fernandes Marcello


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