Randall Jarrell

(May 6, 1914 – October 14, 1965 / Nashville)

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.

Submitted: Monday, January 20, 2003

Do you like this poem?
11 person liked.
5 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: mother, sleep, dream, death, life

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner by Randall Jarrell )

Enter the verification code :

  • Rookie Jim Arnett (6/26/2013 8:04:00 PM)

    I doubt very much that, while fighting in World War II, Randall Jarrell referenced abortion one bit. Your opinion, of course.

    And, by the way, a dilation and curettage vacuums out the uterus. Not washes. (Report) Reply

    Rookie Jeremy White (7/31/2014 10:31:00 AM)

    That's annoying - it dropped my quotation marks. Before the capital 'A' in the second sentence to the end of the comment is the quote.

    Rookie Jeremy White (7/31/2014 10:30:00 AM)

    It's possible he was thinking that way nonetheless. The poet's own explanation of the poem was, A ball turret was a Plexiglas sphere set into the belly of a B-17 or B-24, and inhabited by two.50 caliber machine guns and one man, a short small man. When this gunner tracked with his machine guns a fighter attacking his bomber from below, he revolved with the turret; hunched upside-down in his little sphere, he looked like the fetus in the womb. The fighters which attacked him were armed with cannon firing explosive shells. The hose was a steam hose.

  • Rookie James Dittes (12/12/2011 1:28:00 PM)

    Does anyone else notice the references to abortion in this poem? A fetus, hunched it its mothers belly, only to be destroyed and washed out with a hose. (Report) Reply

    Rookie David Lutyens (7/30/2014 8:43:00 AM)

    Following your lead in twisting things to suit a misguided, arrogant, small-minded and self-important agenda, can I just say Does anyone else notice the failed attempts to prop up his delusions of adequacy in James Dittes' comment?

Read all 2 comments »

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. Think Alike, Naveed Akram
  2. The Gods and Heaven.., veeraiyah subbulakshmi
  3. The Troubled Box, Naveed Akram
  4. Colored, Caylin stansberry
  5. Leave, gajanan mishra
  6. The beauty of a poet, gajanan mishra
  7. Two legs animal, gajanan mishra
  8. Clown Heads, Tony Adah
  9. In Love With Your Body, Luis Estable
  10. They Are Right, Luis Estable

Poem of the Day

poet Richard Lovelace

"Come, pretty birds, present your lays,
And learn to chaunt a goddess praise;
Ye wood-nymphs, let your voices be
Employ'd to serve her deity:
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko

 

Member Poem

Trending Poems

  1. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  2. If, Rudyard Kipling
  3. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, Robert Frost
  4. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  5. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  6. Trees, Joyce Kilmer
  7. Alone, Edgar Allan Poe
  8. A Smile To Remember, Charles Bukowski
  9. Bluebird, Charles Bukowski
  10. All the World's a Stage, William Shakespeare

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]