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Spiders Analysis

Author: Poetry of Delmore Schwartz Type: Poetry Views: 101

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1959Is the spider a monster in miniature?

His web is a cruel stair, to be sure,

Designed artfully, cunningly placed,

A delicate trap, carefully spun

To bind the fly (innocent or unaware)

In a net as strong as a chain or a gun.There are far more spiders than the man in the streetsupposes

And the philosopher-king imagines, let alone knows!

There are six hundred kinds of spiders and each one

Differs in kind and in unkindness.

In variety of behavior spiders are unrivalled:

The fat garden spider sits motionless, amidst or at the heart

Of the orb of its web: other kinds run,

Scuttling across the floor, falling into bathtubs,

Trapped in the path of its own wrath, by overconfidencedrowned and undone.Other kinds - more and more kinds under the stars andthe sun -

Are carnivores: all are relentless, ruthless

Enemies of insects. Their methods of getting food

Are unconventional, numerous, various and sometimeshilarious:

Some spiders spin webs as beautiful

As Japanese drawings, intricate as clocks, strong as rocks:

Others construct traps which consist only

Of two sticky and tricky threads. Yet this ambush is enough

To bind and chain a crawling ant for longenough:

The famished spider feels the vibration

Which transforms patience into sensation and satiation.

The handsome wolf spider moves suddenly freely and relies

Upon lightning suddenness, stealth and surprise,

Possessing accurate eyes, pouncing upon his victim with thespeed of surmise.Courtship is dangerous: there are just as many elaborateand endless techniques and varieties

As characterize the wooing of more analytic, moreintrospective beings: Sometimes the male

Arrives with the gift of a freshly caught fly.

Sometimes he ties down the female, when she is frail,

With deft strokes and quick maneuvres and threads of silk:

But courtship and wooing, whatever their form, areinformed

By extreme caution, prudence, and calculation,For the female spider, lazier and fiercer than the malesuitor,

May make a meal of him if she does not feel in the samemood, or if her appetite

Consumes her far more than the revelation of love'sconsummation.

Here among spiders, as in the higher forms of nature,

The male runs a terrifying risk when he goes seeking forthe bounty of beautiful Alma Magna Mater:

Yet clearly and truly he must seek and find his mate andmatch like every other living creature!


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