1st poetry entry
The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner by Randall Jarrell Contemporary American Poetry pg. 58
From my mother's sleep I fell into the State,
And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze.
I woke to black flak and night mare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.
I read a bit about this poet and learned that some of his best work is about World War II which is what this particular poem is about. What I absolutely love about this poem is the way in which the poet shows the speaker in life and soon places him in the after-life. Just as he does this, he also shows the transition of the speaker from his mothers arms to that of the claws of war. In this case the speaker is a soldier who is drafted into the air force during World War II. The soldier's mother, aware of the war and the danger her son may be put in if drafted, worries and probably dreams of her son's future. He then "fell" out her dreams as her the mother's worries come true. The soldier is then place in the "Belly" of an airplane as a gunner and killed in action. The poem doesnt reflect any big changes of emotion and gives us a feel of how cruel and heartless the phenomenon of war is. It has a constant mood throughout which I believe adds to the feeling about how people are as meaningless as assets and useless once we stop breathing. Once the soldier is killed he is simply replaced as the blood and sweat that he put into his job were washed away with a hose. This poem inspires saddness and anger with the image of a mother being robbed of her son to place him in a situation of suffering and where he is no more than an object just like the planes and tanks used.