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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
News & Announcements
About the Poets
Additional Reading
Randall Jarrell, 1943 

Randall Jarrell (1914–1965) was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and earned his B.A. and M.A. at Vanderbilt University. From 1937 to 1939 he taught at Kenyon College, where he met John Crowe Ransom and Robert Lowell, and afterward he taught at the University of Texas. He served in the air force during World War II. His reputation as a poet was established in 1945 with the publication of his second book, Little Friend, Little Friend, which documents the intense fears and moral struggles of young soldiers. Other volumes followed, all characterized by great technical skill, empathy with others, and deep sensitivity. Following the war, Jarrell began teaching at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and remained there, except for occasional absences to teach elsewhere, until his death. Besides poetry, he wrote a satirical novel, several children’s books, numerous poetry reviews—collected in Poetry and the Age (1953)—and a translation of Goethe’s Faust.

Randall Jarrell


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.