Randall Jarrell Poetry: American Poets Analysis - Essay

Randall Jarrell Poetry: American Poets Analysis

(Poets and Poetry in America)

Randall Jarrell’s poetry speaks with intelligence and humanity about the problem of change as it affects men and women in the twentieth century. Often using the motif of a dreamer awakening in an unfamiliar world, Jarrell probes the experience of each speaker to discover enduring truths, however bleak they may be. Although the speakers in his poems learn that the difference between innocence and experience is often bewilderment and pain, they also express a sense of dignity and affirmation. Whether the focus is on a soldier facing death, a mother relinquishing her son, or a lonely woman wandering in a zoo, Jarrell’s poems achieve a balance between the common experience of humanity and the suffering of the individual.


(The entire section is 3430 words.)