Randall Jarrell Quotes (136 quotes)
“If we meet an honest and intelligent politician, a dozen, a hundred, we say that they aren't like politicians at all, and our category of politician stays unchanged; we know what politicians are like.”
The Intellectual in America (1955), from A Sad Heart at the Supermarket (1962)
“The climate of our culture is changing. Under these new rains, new suns, small things grow great, and what was great grows small; whole species disappear and are replaced.”
A Sad Heart at the Supermarket, Daedalus, vol. 89, no. 2 (Spring 1960); published in A Sad Heart at the Supermarket (1962)
“One of the most obvious facts about grown-ups to a child is that they have forgotten what it is like to be a child.”
An Unread Book, introduction to The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead (Holt, Rinehart, 1965 edition)
“I see at last that all the knowledge I wrung from the darkness — that the darkness flung me —
Is worthless as ignorance: nothing comes from nothing,
The darkness from the darkness. Pain comes from the darkness
And we call it wisdom. It is pain.”
90 North, lines 28-32 - Blood for a Stranger (1942)
“The nurse is the night
To wake to, to die in: and the day I live,
The world and its life are her dreams.”
Variations, lines 31-33 - Blood for a Stranger (1942)
“And the world said, Child, you will not be missed.
You are cheaper than a wrench, your back is a road;
Your death is a table in a book.
You had our wit, our heart was sealed to you:
Man is the judgment of the world.”
Variations, lines 40-44 - Blood for a Stranger (1942)
“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 woke to black flak and the nightmare fighters.
When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.”
The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner , complete poem - Little Friend, Little Friend (1945)
“For this last savior, man,
I have lied as I lie now. But what is lying?
Men wash their hands in blood, as best they can:
I find no fault in this just man.”
Eighth Air Force, lines 16-20 - Losses (1948)
“Somewhere there must be
Something that's different from everything.
All that I've never thought of — think of me!”
A Sick Child, lines 18-20 - The Seven-League Crutches (1951)
“His eye a ring inside a ring inside a ring
That leers up, joyless, vile, in meek obscenity —
This is the devil. Flesh to flesh, he bleats
The herd back to the pit of being.”
The Knight, Death and the Devil, lines 17-20 - The Seven-League Crutches (1951)
If you know some quotes that would be a good fit here, send us a note!
Picture Source: WikipediaRandall Jarrell
Born: May 6, 1914
Died: October 14, 1965 (aged 51)
Occupation: Poet, critic
Bio: Randall Jarrell was an American poet, literary critic, children's author, essayist, novelist, and the 11th Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, a position that now bears the title Poet Laureate.