Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Happy Birthday, Randall Jarrell



Happy Birthday to poet and critic Randall Jarrell, born in Nashville, Tennessee, on May 6, 1914, where he attended Vanderbilt University. Randall Jarrell was struck by a car and killed in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, at the age of 51 on October 14, 1965, in a death that may or may not have been a suicide.

I have many thoughts on Jarrell and his imitators (Logan, Kirsch, Chiasson, et al.,) and could go on at length. Let me spare you that. I have an early meeting this morning, and after all, it is the man's birthday.

Here is Jarrell's most well-known poem:

THE DEATH OF THE BALL TURRET GUNNER

From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
Six miles from earth, loosed from its dream of life,
I woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.

2 Comments:

Blogger Talia said...

I love the 4th line.

Thanks for the lesson.

8:10 AM  
Blogger Leslie said...

At some point, I'd love to hear those thoughts...

11:10 AM  

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