Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Poetry Tuesday: "Turtle" by Kay Ryan




Turtle

by Kay Ryan


Who would be a turtle who could help it?
A barely mobile hard roll, a four-oared helmet,
she can ill afford the chances she must take
in rowing toward the grasses that she eats.
Her track is graceless, like dragging
a packing case places, and almost any slope
defeats her modest hopes. Even being practical,
she's often stuck up to the axle on her way
to something edible. With everything optimal,
she skirts the ditch which would convert
her shell into a serving dish. She lives
below luck-level, never imagining some lottery
will change her load of pottery to wings.
Her only levity is patience,
the sport of truly chastened things.


Note: Betty is aware that the pic above is a tortoise, not a turtle, but it's the only picture I had. The tortoise in the picture is named "Doodle'!

16 comments:

Alissa said...

The library I used to work at has a pet turtle. She's named Yertle, of course. My friend takes her home on the weekends, ties some neon surveyor ribbon to her and lets her wander around the yard. Turtles are surprisingly cool animals.

Iva said...

what a great turtle!!

Michelle said...

We have a tortoise, he is still hibernating though, sleeping for 3 months sounds pretty attractive to me, but that is because I have a newborn at home, kinda jealous of my tortoise in a way right now lol.

Madi and Mom said...

Tomatoes tomaaaaatoes...
turtle tortoise...Doodle is a handsome specimen!!! Love the poem.
Madi and Mom

Ally said...

I'm feeling as sluggish as a turtle today. Ha ha. Cute pic though!

Tales Of A Fourth Grade Nothing

Joe Cap said...

Doodle looks pretty cool...I don't they mind being a tortoise.
They are what they are.

magically ordinary said...

Fabulous, beatiful turtle! I admire her a lot. One thing I do not have a lot of is patience. (:

Joann Mannix said...

You mentioned not doing Poetry Tuesday anymore. Please, don't. Poetry is the highest form of writing in my humble opinion and even a poem about a turtle turns into literal beauty. Love your posts Betty. Keep em coming.

TS Hendrik said...

Now I just feel sad for turtles. lol
I love the name "Doodle" for a tortoise. Too many tortoises going around these days with names like Fred or Jonesy.

liz said...

What are the official differences between turtles vs. tortoises?

Ann said...

I think that Doodle makes an excellent stand in for the turtle poem, which by the way, I loved

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

Oh how this family loves turtles!! Our littlest is obsessed with them. We must got to the zoo once a week to see them!

Spot On Your Pants said...

saw a turtle skeleton at the zoo today and i briefly thought about turtle soup. is that gross? not that i'd want to eat betty soup. but, sick to consider it. redneck? hmmmmmm.....

Tracy said...

Ooh...love the turtle and the poem!

Cheeseboy said...

I am not too fond of tortoises. At our local zoo (Hogle), they used to let a turtle roam free. As a kid, it scared me out of my shell. I was petrified of the blasted thing.

Still, a pretty great poem to be sure.

Kitty said...

I will pass on the fan mail to Doodle. But I must say that tortoise have more joie de vivre (think indefatigable land rover) than that poem's eponymous turtle.