Poetry Friday – Testudinate

Hello, poet friends, I am honored to be collecting your sweet submissions today; it is my first time hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup. What a joy!

I keep a “Writing Ideas” notebook for inspirations, many of them gathered weekly from your posts. This week I wrote an “In One Word” poem inspired by April Halprin Wayland at TeachingAuthors.com on this August 13, 2021 post. Follow this post for April’s full directions for the “In One Word” poem.

Monday’s Dictionary.com word of the day was testudinate, so I chose to use that one word because it brought to mind the noble Galapagos tortoise with its familiar carapace. More reasons: they are one of my favorite animals, I recently learned galápago is Spanish for tortoise, and I had never seen the word testudinate before.

I used Wordmaker and wrote a list of words that interested me, which was easy to do from the 497 that were found. My poem has about 35 words derived from the letters in testudinate. I love word puzzles and poetry, so when the two intertwine, I’m doubly happy. (I realize I used daunt as a noun in my poem, one of the problems in limiting your word choice!)

Image by Parker_West from Pixabay

Attitudes of Testudinate

When God teased
animals out of dust,
the dust was sent
with extra attitude
into galápago, situated
and sainted
to be one imposing idea
nested in the sun and sand
near the sea.

Half ton of ease,
100+ years to tease adieus
and dine
or not, for they can hold their need
for food and water, the seed
of their last meal can sate
them a year. Their size not stunted
nor tainted
with daunt.

A prehistoric statue?
No, he is life united
a staid sedan
among animals. A titan
suited for us curious students
to attest
that this creation attends
to and attunes
our priorities, unstated
hurries and worries end.
Slowly, slowly the din
dims and we see.

Draft by Denise Krebs

Image by Raúl Blázquez Viedma from Pixabay

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30 thoughts on “Poetry Friday – Testudinate

  1. Gosh, Denise. I love this. All turtles everywhere are honored. “Teased out of the dust,” “staid sedan,” “titan suited”…these words are all so cool together. I missed this idea when April wrote it, and your poem has inspired me to try it out. Thank you, and thank you for hosting! xo, a.

    1. Hi Again! Your post inspired mine…thank you again! x, a.

  2. You put that ‘one word’ (testudinate no less!) to good use, Denise! I, too, am awed by your line “a staid sedan among animals”. Thank you for hosting! 🙂

  3. yikes! I just lost the response I wrote out….and it was a good-un! I love how the first stanza brings us in to the meaning, example, shades of color and attitude of the word. I may have to use this word with my middle schoolers this week. We all are re-building our stamina for full time face to face school. Testudinating is part of the process!

    1. What a brilliant writing prompt. I love what you have done with it. What an opening, to whisk us right into the poem with much more speed than the tortoise it extols! Love;
      When God teased
      animals out of dust,
      the dust was sent
      with extra attitude
      into galápago…
      Thankyou for bringing this form to my attention. Can’t wait to try it! And thanks for hosting us today. Enjoy your debut role.🙃

  4. What a great result. I love the entire first stanza about the Galapagos, this “one imposing idea nested in the sand and sun.” I love “staid sedan” and “Titan suited to us curious students . . .” I need to try this sometime.

  5. Learned a new word today — and what a terrific job you did with this prompt. Fascinating info and I, too, love the staid sedan. 🙂

    Thanks so much for hosting this week!!

  6. Thanks for hosting, Denise! I love your poem!

  7. Denise! I’m so excited that you tried an In One Word poem. When I have NO ideas, I pick a word out of thin air and comb it for interesting words within to fire me up.

    And wow ~ what a terrific draft! And because I have three tortoises, I especially loved:

    Half ton of ease,
    100+ years to tease adieus


    No, he is life united—
    a staid sedan
    among animals.

    Thanks SO much for hosting today!

  8. Fabulous poem Denise, I love all your alliteration and word play, and I love tortoises too! Your poem is a wonderful tribute to the Grand Testudinate’s and especially the Galapagos. Thanks for hosting the roundup this week!

  9. Denise, this is wonderful! My favorite bit is sedan–such an awesome comparison for a tortoise. Thanks for hosting. I didn’t have anything to post this week but thoroughly enjoyed your roundup post 🙂

  10. Wow, Denise – Kudos to you for this fabulous, creative poem! New-to-me word as well. I was swooning over the same excerpt Kat highlighted – that ‘teasing out of dust’ bit. For years, I’ve written a few parts of the curriculum for a Character Ed program (Core Essentials), and one of my contributions is the animal for each month… last year (for this current year), I included the dear Galapagos Tortoise. :0) Thanks so much for jumping in to host!

  11. What a great debut hosting post! Your poem is a fabulous example of an In One Word poem. You’ve really worked out all those found words and created a wonderful poem honoring the testudinates! You’ve not only taught me a new word, but you’ve inspired me to try this form again. Thanks for that nudge as well as for hosting this week.

  12. On my bucket list is to take that small boat to the Galapagos, & now, with your ode to those marvelous creatures, I will always consider them “staid sedans”. I love April’s prompt & now you’ve shared that ‘new’ word with us all! Welcome to PF, Denise. Thank you for hosting!

  13. Ingenious, Denise! What a challenge – and what a wonderful poem came of it!

  14. I love this, Denise! I’ll have to try this one-word poem form. I also love that you chose to write about the Galapagos tortoise – such a unique and wonderful animal. Thank you for sharing the links on how to construct these poems and your wonderful mentor text example. Thank you for hosting, as well.

  15. Denise, thank you for hosting, providing me with a new word, and providing a look at the Galapagos testudinate. You mastered a clever way to showcase and define a challenging word. I can always leave it up to you meet a new challenge.

  16. Thanks for this wonderful poem… I shall have to try this kind of poetry. Testudinate would be a great word to start, as you have so ably demonstrated. Now I’m thinking about tortoises and carapaces and so on… kudos! And thanks for hosting.

  17. Denise, your application of a single word was so well executed. I enjoyed learning about your process for this poem. Process is critical to every writer and you have clearly identified yours. The poem shows the benefit of your crafting. I particularly loved the analogy of the ‘staid sedan’ -so appropriate. Thank also for your hosting duties.

  18. Thank you for hosting this week, Denise, and for teaching me a new word! I love in one word poems, and yours sparkles with your clever use of “statue,” “staid sedan,” “titan,” and more! Turtles and tortoises are amazing creatures!

  19. This is so wonderful, Denise! I had to read it several times to feel the full effect of the words and images. I’ve been in a writing rut lately, so I may try this form as a way to dig myself out.

  20. What a delightful poem (and challenge! I’m off to check out your inspiration on April’s blog and will have to try one of these myself). I love this image:
    “a staid sedan
    among animals.”

    What a wonderful way of describing a tortoise.

    Thank you for hosting today!

  21. Thank you for hosting! I’ll be back after the weekend to read and comment.

  22. That’s so much fun, Denise. I love this idea and will have to try it. “staid sedan/among animals” is a terrific description.

  23. Denise! I’ve tried this one before and it is so exciting–how one word can give forth so many words that somehow seem *designed* to build a poem of depth and surprise. Your selections are spot on–your first lines, the staid sedan. It’s especially interesting to me because Testudo is the name of University of Maryland’s terrapin mascot. For fun I’ll send you a collage of my daughter Daisy kissing Testudo before each exam week during her years there (and not there), and here’s a post I made about trying this form last year. https://myjuicylittleuniverse.blogspot.com/2020/09/in-one-word.html Thanks so much for hosting!

  24. Wow, what a challenge! And you rose to it beautifully. AND I learned a new word. 🙂 Thanks, Denise!

  25. Thank you, all, for the feedback and love here this Poetry Friday! It was a delightful reading your posts and having you come here and share your sweet comments and links. Thank you.

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