by Kay Ryan
You only need a thimbleful of information to summarize what happens in "Turtle." An unidentified speaker describes the mundane dangers and difficulties of a female turtle's life. The turtle's progress is cumbersome, as she struggles to find food, escape injury, and avoid predators. Summarized in this way, the poem sounds pretty ho-hum, but that's because we're leaving out the good stuff: all of the nifty words and images and metaphors that make this poem come alive with frustration and humor and sorrow and wonder.