by Kay Ryan
(3) Base Camp
Reading "Turtle" is not an extreme sport. When you start out, you have a reasonably good idea of where you're going and how to get there. The trail is not too steep, and the hike doesn't take long. But, there are some surprises along the way. The path might not be as clearly marked as you expected, and you may feel a bit off-balance as the trail twists and turns. You'll have to exert some mental energy to decode the poem's metaphors, which come at you pretty fast. And you'll need emotional energy to explore the connotations of key words such as "patience" and "chastened." So don't forget to bring a water bottle and some granola!