A Lowly Turtle Full of Grace



As above so below.
Universal energy in flow.
As without so within.
The feminine and the masculine.
In fertile balance of the sphere.

Embraced by ancient hands that bear.
Humanity, while for its shell,  a shield.
A mighty tortoise shell to wield.
Protector of our world in space.
This lowly turtle full of Grace.

About this poem

The turtle has a prominent position as a mythological symbol in all cultures globally, and in all continents. The eminent psychoanalyst Carl Gustav Jung interpreted the turtle analytically as the alchemical massa confusa; as the primordial chaos. Mythological accounts of the turtle can be traced to as early as 4th millennium BCE, to a zoomorphic palette in the form of a Nile soft-shell turtle. This poem entitled “A Lowly Turtle Full of Grace” was composed in 1993 as part of a workshop activity at Puppetry in Practice, Brooklyn College, City University of New York (CUNY), celebrating the workshop theme: “Bring the Magic of Storytelling and Puppet Drama into The Classroom. ” The first line of this poem employs the hermetic alchemical philosophy of Kybalion, the ancient Egypt principle or maxim, “As above so below” employing the observed truth that there is always a correspondence between the laws of nature and phenomena of various aspects of being and life; that whatever happens on the earthly plane, is reflected in the astral plane. Thus, the turtle’s shell or carapace is symbolic of the heavenly dome or astral plane, and the turtle’s underbelly or plastron is symbolic of the earthly plane; altogether combining the maxim, “As above so below.” The unstated theme of the poem is that, as inhabitants of the earthly plane, we are all part of the universal sphere of consciousness and that only together and collectively we can discover our individuated selves. 

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Written on March 02, 2022

Submitted by karlcfolkes on March 02, 2022

Modified by karlcfolkes on May 29, 2022

19 sec read
629

Quick analysis:

Scheme AAXXX XBBCC
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 312
Words 64
Stanzas 2
Stanza Lengths 5, 5

Karl Constantine FOLKES

Retired educator of Jamaican ancestry with a lifelong interest in composing poetry dealing particularly with the metaphysics of self-reflection; completed a dissertation in Children’s Literature in 1991 at New York University entitled: An Analysis of Wilhelm Grimm’s ‘Liebe Mili’ (translated into English as “Dear Mili”), Employing Von Franzian Methodological Processes of Analytical Psychology. The subject of the dissertation concerned the process of Individuation. more…

All Karl Constantine FOLKES poems | Karl Constantine FOLKES Books

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    "A Lowly Turtle Full of Grace" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 26 May 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/121436/a-lowly-turtle-full-of-grace>.

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