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Robert Bly Writing Styles in Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter

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Tone

Tone refers to the attitude of the speaker towards his subject. In "Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter," Bly evokes feelings of contentment through his description of a deserted city street scene, the simple action of mailing a letter, the "privacy" of his solitude, and the desire to prolong the experience, expressed in the line, "Driving around, I will waste more time."

Irony

The last line of the poem contains an example of verbal irony. A statement can be verbally ironic when it implies a meaning sharply different from what it expresses. In this case, Bly is winking at readers when he states, "I will waste more time," as the obvious joy he experiences belies the idea that time is being wasted.

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This section contains 250 words
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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.