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Analysis of the “Turtle” by Kay Ryan

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    Analysis of the “Turtle” by Kay Ryan

    The poem “Turtle” by Kay Ryan reflects the feeling of the author about frustration and being thwarted. Throughout the poem, Ryan ridiculed the turtle about its characteristics, depicting it as an unfortunate creation that is hardly lovable. Ryan’s use of imagery in the poem relates frustration to its readers as it relates to life experiences, which is exemplified by the turtle. She described it as “a barely mobile hard roll, a four-oared helmet.” Frustration is characterized by the turtle by describing it with “almost any slope defeats her modest hopes,” as being “often stuck up to the axle,” and who “lives below luck-level.” This frustration also makes the turtle graceless in its movement. However, Ryan redeemed the turtle at the end of the poem. She wrote that the turtle never imagines some lottery to “change her load of pottery to wings” which implies that the turtle does not rely on chances but rather on hard-work and dedication. In the last two lines of the poem, Ryan attributed the turtle with patience which the author believed to be “the sport of truly chastened things.”

    Analysis of the “Mockingbird” by Kay Ryan

    Kay Ryan praised the mockingbird in the poem of the same title. She began the poem by stating that “nothing whole is so bold” and “nothing not cracked is so exact and of a piece.” These tell what mockingbirds are: a bold creature that is more than the sum of its parts. Indeed, the mockingbird according to Ryan is the “emperor of parts, the king of patch, the master of pastiche.” These descriptions are due to the fact that the mockingbird has the ability to imitate not only the sounds of other birds, but as well as the sounds of other animals such as those of dogs and cats and can imitate even the honk of cars. Ryan used the word ‘pastiche’ to emphasize that the mockingbird is truly a work of art because of its ability to imitate the sounds made by other animals. Furthermore, this ability of the mockingbird is so convincing that it “displaces the originals.”

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