Monday, September 3, 2012

Sculptures of Springfield: Yertl the Turtle Garden

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Yertl the Turtle Garden
Springfield, MA
Topic: Sculptures of Springfield

GPS: N42° 06.299; W072° 35.189

Quick Description: 

The Yertl Garden is in the northwest corner of the Quadrangle. It is set apart from the other four sculptures that comprise the Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden in Springfield.

Long Description:

A well known Dr. Seuss character, Yertle the Turtle is king of the pond. He commands other turtles to stack themselves beneath him so that he can see farther and thus expand his kingdom. The stack collapses under its own weight, freeing all the turtles.

The moral is contained in the last stanza:

"And today the great Yertle, that Marvelous he,
Is King of the Mud. That is all he can see.
And the turtles, of course… all the turtles are free
As turtles and, maybe, all creatures should be."

Yertle the Turtle sits on top of a stack of seven fellow turtles. He stands high on his front legs with his head held up. In the lower portion of the stack the turtles are more compressed. The lowest turtle is pressed against the base, which suggests a rock protruding from water. The tall sculpture is set into a recessed irregular shaped stone pond lined with cobblestone. There is a boulder at the east end of the pond.

The sculpture was the creation of Theodor Seuss Geisel's step-daughter, Lark Dimond-Cates and cast in bronze at Valley Bronze, Inc. It is located in a separate section of the Quadrangle and is not visible from the other four sculptures.

Springfield Quadrangle
21 Edwards Street
Springfield, MA 01103

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