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Analysis and comments on The Death Of The Ball Turret Gunner by Randall Jarrell

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Comment 4 of 74, added on December 5th, 2005 at 8:25 PM.

This poem is not about reproductive rights. It rings true but remember
that this poem was written in 1945, decades before abortion became an

Kenneth from United States
Comment 3 of 74, added on September 19th, 2005 at 10:38 AM.

The beauty of poetry is that it can be both, Julia, or neither. There is
both the intent of the author, reflecting something that is moving he/she
to write those words at that time but also the something moving in the
reader/hearer as their interpretation completes the creative circle.

In this seemingly simple poem there are complex elements of metaphor
relating to the temporary security of the womb and the chaos of war/life.
To lock it into a simple descriptive narrative is to do to the poem what
the flak and fighters did to the gunner.

On the other hand, it is unlikely that the author INTENDED the comparison
made in the first comment by TEH - it might have been better if TEH had
added the phrase "I see this as..." before the word "metaphor" to clarify
that this is his or her interpretation of the ideas in the poem as related
to a more contemporary debate - which is in fact entirely appropriate for
this forum. By this I mean not the debate itself, for which there are other
and more appropriate forums, but the discussion of how an individual reader
is moved by or reacts to the images presented by the author. This
engagement of the past with the present is a vital part of living poetry.

Todd from United States
Comment 2 of 74, added on September 6th, 2005 at 7:38 AM.

This is not a forum to air your reproductive right beliefs. The poem is a
metaphor for the precariousness of the position of the ball turrent gunner,
as it was considered to be the most vunerable position on the B-17. That's

Julia from United States
Comment 1 of 74, added on June 28th, 2005 at 8:27 PM.

This poem expresses Jarrell's experiences from being in the army in WWII.
The Ball Turret Gunner is a metaphor for a baby in its mother's womb. He
is saying that the death of men in the war brutal and insensitive, just as
it would be to abort a baby.

T E H from United States

This poem has been commented on more than 10 times. Click below to see the other comments.
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Information about The Death Of The Ball Turret Gunner

Poet: Randall Jarrell
Poem: The Death Of The Ball Turret Gunner
Added: Feb 20 2003
Viewed: 197 times

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