Little Words, Big Ideas
Freedom and Confinement
Nobody likes feeling stuck. And Kay Ryan's titular turtle is "often" stuck. All she asks is the freedom to move (see "Mobility Imagery" in "Symbols, Imagery, and Word Play") so she can find food. B...
Here's a riddle for you: In "Turtle," how is Kay Ryan's turtle like Abraham Lincoln? You can make up your own response if you like, but here's one answer: They both understand the power of persever...
Women and Femininity
Few would argue that "Turtle" is an overtly feminist poem, but some readers detect a subtle critique of traditional female roles in society. There's no getting around the fact that Kay Ryan chose t...
As the opposite of arrogance, humility is arguably a positive trait (arrogant hare, humble tortoise). Although the word "humility" does not appear in "Turtle," the turtle clearly qualifies as a hum...
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