Sunday, November 06, 2005

week 6 post 2

The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner
By: Randall Jarrell

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.

The poem is about a man in the air who is fighting something and he is six miles from earth. A Turret gunner is someone sitting in the ball of a plane and shoots at others with the gun. The speaker of the poem makes his life seem so insignificant in the face of war. "From my mother's sleep I fell into the State." It's unsure what the state is but I'm guessing it's the country. In the belly means sitting in the ball. The gunner is living a reality that most people in the country do not. He is a solider in the time of war, fighting with other men and risking his life. "nightmare fighters" describes the intensity of the situation he's in. Fighters is another word for the planes used in battle and sitting in this little closed space shooting at other planes must be a dramatic event. HE is six miles above the ground and above regular life. He is in a different state of time and reality. War is not pretty and in war your life can end any moment. The speaker makes it sound harsh at the end when he states that when he dies, they will just wash him out of turret with a hose meaning he is just another casualty.


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