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Quotes

Quote #4

The sport of truly chastened things. (15)

Though "chastened" often has negative connotations (punishment, suppression), it can also mean "purify" or "refine," implying growth through suffering. Joined with "truly," which connotes authenticity, "chastened" lends the humble turtle an air of seriousness and dignity. Still, even in the last line, the poem won't let us get all somber and self-important—just as "patience" in the previous line was paired with "levity," "chastened" is paired with "sport."

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