From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Turtle

Turtle

  

by Kay Ryan

Turtle Perseverance Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Line)

Quote #1

Who would be a turtle who could help it? (1)

One thing's for sure: the speaker of this poem is clearly not Abraham Lincoln. We're quite sure he wouldn't be so dismissive of turtles. The speaker's scornful tone in the poem's opening line hints that this turtle will probably have to swim against the current, persevering on her own without the benefit of an outboard motor or vigilant lifeguards.

Quote #2

[…] barely mobile (2)

If you're a marathon runner, perseverance is your middle name. You've trained your body well for long-distance running and have confidence in your powers of endurance. The turtle, however, is "barely mobile." In the race of life, she will always remain slow and awkward, and no amount of training will change that fact. Yet she perseveres.

Quote #3

[…] almost any slope
Defeats her modest hopes (6-7)

Many expert mountain climbers who attempt Everest have to turn back; but there's no shame in being defeated by the world's tallest mountain. They can still point to their conquests of other impressive peaks. The turtle doesn't have any record to fall back on, no history of successes to keep her going. No wonder her hopes are "modest." In fact, it's a miracle that she has any hope at all. But the girl just digs deep and keeps on truckin'.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement