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The two poems, the Turtle and the Hands, have both been described as literary works that are very rich in imagery and present their thematic concerns in a clear and comprehensible manner. These poems classically bring a broader view and a perfect scope of the traditional and contemporary worlds. In any learning environment, it’s a generally agreed fact that the Turtle by Kay Ryan ideally speaks to the heart as well as it speaks to the mind to inspire some hope. In the same respect, the Hands by Robinson Jeffers clearly manifests of what every human would like to be known of them when they are not in existence any more, that they were also human with extraordinary abilities. These poets embody the best of real life poets. (Robinson Jeffers, 2010)
The two poems have perfectly exploited the aspect of imagery to convey their core message. For instance, the Turtle by Kay Ryan compares the life and difficulties that the turtle faces with her own life experiences. This comes out clearly when she describes the turtle as a barely mobile helmet that can hardly afford the chances it must take. This brings a feeling of self pity that was manifest in her life. Indeed, in her analysis of the poem she says it marked a time when she had a tremendous feeling of frustration and that her efforts were greatly thwarted. (Kay Ryan, 2000). On the other hand, the Hand by Robinson Jeffers uses rock paintings as the image to convey her message. To him the rock paintings had something more to them in that they were a cloud of human palms. Ideally, his message is to prove that the people who lived before us, the ancestors who lived in caves had more historical significance than people think. In doing the rock paintings merely with their hands and bearing no important message, the ancestors meant o say that they were also humans and not some primitive creatures with paws. This brings the theme of conflict between two generations separated with a large time differences. (Robinson Jeffers, 2010).
Both the two poems poetically emphasize the power of silence. For instance, the Hand by Robinson Jeffers is very clear in its use of silence as a way to convey an important message. As a matter of fact, the idea of ancestral paintings not bearing any direct significant message cannot be ignored. According to him, although the ancestors wanted to blow a trumpet about their being normal humans, they did not choose to show it through complex art paintings. Instead, they just leave behind images of multiple hands engraved on the rocks. Indeed, this would be ignored by anyone lacking in poetical analysis of Robinson Jeffers simply because of the essence of silence, something the poet has greatly tapped into. (Robinson Jeffers, 2010). Conversely, the body of Ryan’s poem also uses silence to convey its message. The poem, like many of his poems is constructed in short sentences or even as long as two words at times. This allows for a moment of silence by the blanks that continue to recur after every few words. Indeed, in various poems that she has written she stresses about her personal relationship with silence as something more concrete than thought. She even goes further to classify silence into various categories like angry silence and palpable silence. This shows a great deal of significance that the poet puts on silence as a way of putting emphasis on her message. (Kay Ryan, 2000).
There is a clear distinction in the tones of these poems. While the Hand by Robinson Jefferson portrays the tone of pride and contentment, the Turtle by Kay Ryan clearly comes out as one of resentment and self pity. For instance, according to Robinson Jefferson the ancestors who leaved behind rock paintings of their hands had a great pride in themselves. That is why they had the compelling urge to let the next generation know about it. As a matter of fact, by leaving paintings of a part of their body clearly shows that they did not mind any possible ridicule in case the future generations would have different pattern of palms. To them, their palms were perfectly made and therefore worth showing off to generations ahead. (Robinson Jeffers, 2010). On the other hand, the Turtle by Ryan perfectly strikes a tone of resentment and self pity as the writer says of her life. In particular, the poet decries that even the smallest of slopes defeats her great hope. This shows of someone on the brink of giving up due to consistent disappointments. Clearly, it appears that she has made several attempts to succeed in her life and has equally recorded a similar or greater number of disappointments. Further, she says that the tortoise lives below the level of luck and having utterly no imaginations of winning a lottery. This further shows her level of hopelessness. (Kay Ryan, 2000).
Ideally, both poems have different moral lesions that are very important for interpersonal relations. For instance, the Turtle teaches of the power of hope. By boldly speaking about the tough times in her life, the poet seeks to assure her readers that no mountains are too high to surmount. This is clear from the fact that she got out of this situation to become an exemplary poet still. On the other hand, the Hand teaches of respect for humanity and the sanctity of human dignity. The poet seeks to dispel the belief that the people who existed before us were less equal. This ideally means that all humans regardless of the times of they existed had something unique about them and that they also had the extraordinary ability to leave a mark in the face of humanity. Clearly, these poets have invested a great deal of skill and expertise in their poems and no doubt deserve some recognition for it. (Kay Ryan, 2000).