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Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter Essay

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Blevins has published essays and poems in many magazines, journals, and anthologies and teaches writing at Roanoke College. In this essay, Blevins considers the risks of the lack of music, rhythm, and metaphor in Bly's poem.

Bly's "Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter" is like most classic lyric poems in that it manipulates the private meditations of a single speaker to explore a single theme or motif. But, Bly's poem is unlike the classic lyric in that it avoids overt lyricism. The lack of musical devices in "Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter" is an example of the tendency of many poets of the contemporary American period to privilege clarity and accessibility over sound-play. Linguists and other students of language have generally held that lyricism obscures meaning. In The Rhetoric of the Other Literature, the linguist W. Ross Winterowd states

As poets have always...

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This section contains 1,657 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.