Poem Reflection: Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter by Robert Bly
Riving to Town Late to Mail a Letter by Robert Bly is an interesting poem, at face value the meaning directly correlates to the title but, further analysis indicates that the speaker has deeper meaning for his audience.
The literal meaning and plot for this poem is about someone who drives to town late at night to mail a letter. The speaker seems to be sending mixed messages throughout the text. The speaker provides the reader with a very distinct imagery of the setting using the works snowy and deserted giving the reader a clear image of the city at night. It’s difficult to determine whether the speaker is trying to establish a dark tone with the words or just trying to paint a clear picture and the words to describe the scene just happen to be dark.
In lines 1-3 the speaker uses dark diction to describe the environment such as snowy and deserted. A logical conclusion from this word choice would be that the speaker doesn’t like the town at night. As the story progresses from lines 4-5 the speakers describes his love for the emptiness, and that he does not want to leave and further iterates that he is going to drive around and stay and waste time in the city.
The theme for this poem is relatively straight forward. The theme could be summarized as appreciating the little things in life, or taking a break from our fast paced lives to appreciate nature.
Bly, Robert. Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter, Silence in the Snowy Fields, Wesleyan University Press, 1953, pp. 38