The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner is a five-line poem by Randall Jarrell published in 1945. Line 1: "Mother" really jumps out in line one. As an idea and an image it is much more immediately recognizable in a literal sense than "the State." In the end, the gunner's corpse is removed and the turret cleaned with what seems like little regard for his death. The peculiarity of Jarrell's monody derives in large measure from the fact that the monodist is already dead: he is both the subject of the elegy and his own sole mourner. The Death Of The Ball Turret Gunner. The poem "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner," by Randall Jarrell depicts the use of metaphors to provide a better understanding. Randall Jarrell: The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner, from Little Friend, Little Friend, 1945 "A ball turret was a Plexiglas sphere set into the belly of a B-17 or B-24, and inhabited by two .50 caliber machine-guns and one man, a short small man. Jarrell himself said the gunner in the turret was like a child in a womb and he relies heavily on that imagery in the poem. He is a gunner in the air force, positioned in a ball turret housed in the belly of a B-17. Randall Jarrell Follow . Start studying The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner (1945) by Randall Jarrell. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner. The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner is a five-line poem by Randall Jarrell published in 1945. Authors note: "A ball turret was a Plexiglas sphere set into the belly of a B-17 or B-24, and inhabited by two .50 caliber machine-guns and one man, a short small man. 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. First line of the poem "From my mother's sleep I fell into the State", and in this case the "State" is the US government which means that comfort and safety will be provided. The poem's speaker suggests that he slips from the protection of his mother's womb into "the State," where he finds himself in a ball turret (the round compartment on a bomber plane from which a gunner shoots). The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner by Randall Jarrell is a frightening poem about a soldier that dies in action during World War 2. Complete summary of Randall Jarrell's The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner. It is about the death of a gunner in a Sperry ball turret on a World War II American bomber aircraft. The B-17 ball turret gunner.⁣ ⁣ American poet Randall Jarrell published the following poem entitled "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner" in 1945.⁣ ⁣ "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 … It is about the death of a gunner in a Sperry ball turret on a World War II American bomber aircraft. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. The American writer Randall Jarrell published "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner" in 1945, the final year of World War II. And "The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner" was published five years before Billy Wilder popularized the technique of narration-after-death in the 1950 film noir Sunset Boulevard. “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner” -Randall Jarrell From my mother’s sleep I fell into the State, And I hunched in its belly till my wet fur froze. 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