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War Poems: Randall Jarrell, Death of The Ball Turret Gunner

I’m going to stick with the war theme for a few more days, while I celebrate National Poetry Month–seems appropriate.  This one is undoubtedly familiar to anyone who studied poetry or literature beyond a cursory look.  I’ve included some images for those of you who may not know what a ball turret is–to make it a little easier to let Jarrell’s imagery work for you.  My grandfather was a flight engineer on a B-24 Liberator in Africa beginning in 1942.

military - the death of the ball turret gunner

          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.

 

lower-ball-turret  b17

http://illuminatedphotobooth.blogspot.com/2010/07/richard-l-greiner-ball-turret-gunner.html