It never ceases to amaze me how little I know of and about poetry, but I love discovering new poems by poets that have been and gone, but left their mark.
It began a few weeks ago when I was reading Muldoon's latest book of essays, The End of the Poem. I came across Robert Lowell, who I'd heard mentioned in the same breath as Elizabeth Bishop in college but hadn't come across his work all that much before (yep, sheltered, dumb life). I read the extracts and got out my trusty Big Book of Poems, the Norton Anthology of Poems (4th ed), which I won't say makes comfortable bedtime reading, because it's a behemoth of a book to have open on your lap.
Anyhow, I've been sticking to 20thc poets, particularly looking at US poets, like Lowell, Bishop and came across Randall Jarell last night (as well as Charles Olsen but that's for another time). Again, I've heard his name mentioned before and wanted to look at his work. Born in 1914, he was old enough to serve during WWII, in the air corps and wrote some poems about this subject. I found the selection interesting because I've never read WWII poems before: it's usually Owens, Sasson, Graves and Brooks from WWI we reach for, when we think of war, or more correctly anti-war, poetry.
Anyhow, here's a link to 'The Death of the Ballturret Gunner' It's only five lines, give it a go.
And I think Jarrell has quite a mischievous twinkle in the photo on this page too. Some poets can be quite handsome, I think :)