Randall Jarrell, “War Poet” October 14, 2016 On October 14, 1965, poet Randall Jarrell was struck and killed by a car while walking at dusk along the side of NC 54 Bypass. At the time, Jarrell was staying in the hospital in Chapel Hill recovering from a suicide attempt and being treated with antidepressants. Jarrell left behind nine volumes of poetry, four books of literary criticism, four children’s books, five anthologies, a novel and a reputation as a brilliant, if troubled, writer. Born in 1914 in Nashville, Tenn., Jarrell attended Vanderbilt University where he captained the tennis team and studied under Robert Penn Warren. Hoping to become a pilot, Jarrell entered the Army Air Force in 1942. He failed to qualify and served as a celestial navigation instructor for the remainder of the war. From that experience came Jarrell’s best known poem, “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner,” ending with the line “When I died they washed me out of the turret with a hose.” In the fall of 1947 Jarrell began teaching at what is now UNC-Greensboro, where he would live and work for the remainder of his life. Other related resources: The poet laureate role and biographies of the poets laureate on NCpedia Poetry Out Loud, a program of the N.C Arts Council Resources related to the poet laureate program from the N.C. Arts Council For more about North Carolina’s history, arts and culture, visit Cultural Resources online. To receive these updates automatically each day subscribe by email using the box on the right and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.