by Kay Ryan
Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.
- Why do you think Kay Ryan chose a turtle to express the ideas in this poem? Do you think the main themes could have been conveyed equally well by focusing on a different animal? If so, what animal would you suggest, and why? If not, why not?
- How would you describe the personality of the speaker in "Turtle"? Would you be interested in being friends with this person? Why or why not?
- Would you characterize "Turtle" as a funny poem? If so, which parts did you find funny? Do you think the poet's use of humor reinforces the main ideas of the poem? Why or why not?
- Imagine that you are interviewing the turtle in Kay Ryan's poem. You ask the turtle, "What does patience mean to you?" How would the turtle answer?
- One commentator has described "Turtle" as a "deeply pessimistic poem." Do you agree or disagree with that idea? Why do you think so?
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