Friday, February 22, 2008

Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter

Driving to Town Late to Mail a Letter

Robert Bly

It is a cold and snowy night. The main street is deserted.
The only things moving are swirls of snow.
As I lift the mailbox door, I feel its cold iron.
There is a privacy I love in this snowy night.
Driving around, I will waste more time.

Each year, I hold a poetry contest in my classroom. I throw about 200 poems at the kids and have them narrow it down to 32. Then, we have a little march madness type of tournament. Every year, this poem has made it to the final four. It's never won, but it is always one of the favorites. There is often a strong debate about whether this poem is about the beauty of a snow storm or the quietness of privacy.

I thought about this poem last night. It started snowing last night and I wanted to be out in it. I hopped on the bike and just rode around the neighborhood for an hour. I took one of the paths that led to a field and stood there. I rode the path around the pond and watched the ducks. I sat down on the park's bench and saw the snow pile up.

Sometimes one has to sit in the middle of nature in order to enjoy it.

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