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.

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