Randall Jarrell in brief
Randall Jarrell (1914-1965) was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and served as a private in the army air force in World War II, an experience that gave rise to several of his best early poems. Much of his life was spent in academe. At Vanderbilt, as a psychology major, he studied literature with poet-critic John Crowe Ransom, who changed the direction of Jarrell's career/ When Ransom moved to Kenyon College, Jarrell followed as an English instructor. At Kenyon, he formed another lifelong friendship: with a student who was to become a distinguished poet, Robert Lowell. Later, Jarrell taught at the University of Texas, Sarah Lawrence, Princeton, Illinois, and for many years at the Woman's College of the University of North Carolina (now UNC Greensboro). His one novel, Pictures from an Institution , is a satire set on campus. As poetry editor for The Nation in the mid-1940s, Jarrell drew attention for his witty, astute, outspoken reviews of poetry. Poetry and the Age (1953) includes especially brilliant essays on Robert Frost and Wallace Stevens. Jarrell, who loved the German language, translated Goethe's Faust (Part I) and some of the Grimm fairy tales. In late years he wrote four books for children (with beautiful drawings by Maurice Sendak) including The Bat Poet (1964) and the posthumous Fly by Night (1976).
--from An Introduction to Poetry by X.J. Kennedy
There set out slowly, for a Different World,
At four, on winter mornings, different legs ...
You can't break eggs without making an omelette
--That's what they tell the eggs.
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Last modified: Wednesday, 18-Jul-2007 16:26:56 EDT