Treasure Island

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?
4 person liked.
1 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 :

  • 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

    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.

    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.

  • 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

    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. Hashtnagar (Eight Cities) XLVI, Sadiqullah Khan
  2. Drunk on You XLVII, Sadiqullah Khan
  3. Inevitable XLVIII, Sadiqullah Khan
  4. I respect, hasmukh amathalal
  5. Good deed, Suresh Dogra
  6. Problems, maria sudibyo
  7. Free!, maria sudibyo
  8. Angst, maria sudibyo
  9. OTP (One True Pairing), maria sudibyo
  10. Lost, zheung kyuhkoh

Poem of the Day

poet Sir Walter Raleigh

EVEN such is Time, that takes in trust
Our youth, our joys, our all we have,
And pays us but with earth and dust;
   Who in the dark and silent grave,
...... Read complete »

   

Member Poem

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. If, Rudyard Kipling
  3. Daffodils, William Wordsworth
  4. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  5. Invictus, William Ernest Henley
  6. Annabel Lee, Edgar Allan Poe
  7. Phenomenal Woman, Maya Angelou
  8. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  9. The Conclusion, Sir Walter Raleigh
  10. Red face, Emmanuel George Cefai

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]