Randall Jarrell

Randall Jarrell (jərĕl´), 1914–65, American poet and critic, b. Nashville, Tenn., grad. Vanderbilt Univ. (B.A., 1935; M.A., 1938). His poetry, reflecting an unusually sensitive and tragic view of life, includes Blood for a Stranger (1942), The Seven-League Crutches (1951), and The Woman at the Washington Zoo (1960). His best-known poem, "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner," was a mediation on his experiences during World War II. In 1953 his critical essays were collected and published as Poetry and the Age. Jarrell's other works include several delightful children's books; Pictures from an Institution (1954), a satirical novel set in a progressive women's college; and A Sad Heart at the Supermarket (1962), a collection of essays and fables.

See his complete poems (1969); posthumous collections of his criticism and essays, The Third Book of Criticism (1969), Kipling, Auden & Co. (1980), and No Other Book (ed. by B. Leithauser, 1999); his letters (ed. by M. Jarrell, 1985); memoir by his wife, Mary Jarrell (1999); studies by R. Lowell et al., ed. (1967), C. Beck (1983), J. Bryant (1986), and S. Burt (2003); bibliography by S. Wright (1986).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

Randall Jarrell: Selected full-text books and articles

Randall Jarrell and His Age By Stephen Burt Columbia University Press, 2002
Little Friend, Little Friend By Randall Jarrell Dial Press, 1945
Librarian’s tip: "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner" begins on p. 58
"No Other Book": Randall Jarrell's Criticism By Leithauser, Brad New Criterion, Vol. 17, No. 8, April 1999
Modern Poetry after Modernism By James Longenbach Oxford University Press, 1997
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Four "Randall Jarrell's Semifeminine Mind"
A Southern Vanguard By Allen Tate Prentice-Hall, 1947
Librarian’s tip: "The Marchen" by Randall Jarrell begins on p. 153
Jarrell, the Mother, the Marchen By Williamson, Alan Twentieth Century Literature, Vol. 40, No. 3, Fall 1994
The Americanness of Walt Whitman By Leo Marx D. C. Heath, 1960
Librarian’s tip: "Some Lines from Whitman" by Randall Jarrell begins on p. 110
Mid-Century American Poets By John Ciardi Twayne, 1950
Librarian’s tip: "Robert Lowell's Poetry" and "Question and Answer" by Randall Jarrell begin on p. 139
Fifty Southern Writers after 1900: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook By Joseph M. Flora; Robert Bain Greenwood Press, 1987
Librarian’s tip: "Randall Jarrell" begins on p. 270
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