Randall Jarrell Poems

Randall Jarrell is a poet and critic born in Nashville, Tennessee. His collections include Blood for a Stranger and Little Friend, Little Friend. Jarrell’s best-known poem is ‘The Lost World.’ He also won the National Book Award for The Woman at the Washington Zoo. Read more of Randall Jarrell’s Biography.

Next Day

by Randall Jarrell

‘Next Day’ by Randall Jarrell is a confessional poem with a conversational tone that articulates the complex emotions of aging and change.

While 'Next Day' is not Randall Jarrell's best-known poems, it is one of his most critically acclaimed works. The poem comes off as plain and slightly ordinary. However, upon close examination, the listener can see how hard Jarrell worked to hide his exacting poetic devices, making the poem seem effortless and completely conversational.

Moving from Cheer to Joy, from Joy to All,

I take a box

And add it to my wild rice, my Cornish game hens.

Explore more poems from Randall Jarrell

90 North

by Randall Jarrell

’90 North’ by Randall Jarrell is concerned with dreams, aging, and the truth of success. The poet’s speaker realizes that success means nothing and that after achieving everything he wanted, his life is worthless. 

A Country Life

by Randall Jarrell

‘A Country Life’ by Randall Jarrell gives a deeply felt depiction of the impacts of life, death and loneliness on one’s life before death finally comes. 

The Woman at the Washington Zoo

by Randall Jarrell

‘The Woman at the Washington Zoo’ by Randall Jarrell is a moving and disturbing poem. In it, the speaker explores her self worth and identity while comparing herself to zoo animals.

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