A vast semiotic network has been constructed in different formats and media, taking the drafts of One Art or the published poem as a source of inspiration, Considering the aesthetic value of the poem and its universal theme related to loss and suffering, many people must have identified themselves with the text; then numerous supplements have been produced under its influence.

Adaptations of a source text even in other cultures and other historical moments confirm the view of translation by Walter Benjamin in “The task of the translator” (BENJAMIN, 2000). He suggests that “[…] it is the task of the translator to release in his own language that pure language which is under the spell of another, to liberate the language imprisoned in a work of re-creation of that work […]” (BENJAMIN, 2000, p. 80). So re-creation guarantees the survival of the source text.

Derrida calls the reader’s attention, in his Tours de Babel (2008), to the importance of “survi-val” through translation (DERRIDA, 2008, p. 179). By referring to Walter Benjamin, Derrida says:

[…] He {Benjamin} names the subject of translation, as an indebted subject, obligated by a duty, already in the position of heir, entered as survivor in a genealogy, as survivor or agent of survi-val […] The work does not simply live longer, it lives more and better (DERRIDA, 2008, p. 179).

It is this survival that one can perceive in the web of recreations of One Art, as if one seed has germinated from one text to the other. Whenever such survival occurs, a supplement is added to the previous chain of texts as if to pay for the debt the translator has towards the previous text(s). It is a never ending chain because it is always possible to add more and more semiotic supplements to a previous text (DERRIDA, 2006).

Some supplements:

Manuscripts’ analysis

In her shoes

Book: A arte de Perder

Marilyn Hacker

One Art reviewed

Poem From Orient Point

Poema lido no Voice & Visions

Portuguese translation: A arte de Perder

Some videos




Luis Passos: One Art Song

Poem reading

Um porto para Elizabeth Bishop – One Art

Video Poema – Bishop in Art

Voice and Visions – Elizabeth Bishop

[1] The Art of Losing (Our translation)


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