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A Noiseless Patient Spider Analysis



Author: Poetry of Walt Whitman Type: Poetry Views: 8325







A NOISELESS, patient spider,

I mark'd, where, on a little promontory, it stood, isolated;

Mark'd how, to explore the vacant, vast surrounding,

It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself;

Ever unreeling them--ever tirelessly speeding them.



And you, O my Soul, where you stand,

Surrounded, surrounded, in measureless oceans of space,

Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing,--seeking the spheres, to

connect them;

Till the bridge you will need, be form'd--till the ductile anchor

hold;

Till the gossamer thread you fling, catch somewhere, O my Soul.10





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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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Houses are quite expensive and not everyone is able to buy it. Nevertheless, business loans are invented to aid different people in such kind of hard situations.

| Posted on 2012-03-25 | by a guest


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The poets before Walt Whitman followed the poetic traditions that grew in the soil of England but Walt Whitman, defying all those orthodox conventions, pioneered his own personal style that was completely new for American soil.Thus, the soul launching gossamer threads in hope of getting a sphere perhaps is his endeavour to hit the sphere of American literary realm. Whitman, standing aloof (isolated),is striving for the acceptance of his new revolutionary style, free verse and so on.Despite abundant severe criticisms by many (his \"Leaves of Grass\" was even banned), ceaselessly launches forth his poetic x great hope to get connected to the sphere.
Hope for comment from friends...

| Posted on 2011-06-07 | by a guest


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I think that the spider represent as the negative side representation of a person. In which loneliness occur in this poem, because his negative side of his personality is ugly and demeaning.

| Posted on 2011-04-07 | by a guest


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Great posts. I would like to add my Uncle Walty thoughts. Whitman was a courageous, forceful being, and he reveled in being surrounded by space! The poem is confidence expressed. Picture him on the top of a hill praising the ecstasy of living. Although we may be very small like spiders, personal transcendence arises from the intimate self understanding that we are anchored to the greatness of the soul right where we stand. In the process of patiently seeking beyond our little natural promontory, we slowly build the confidence to launch ourselves into the unknown because we understand that with each throw, we grow closer to hitting the mark. We little leaves of grass are the bridge!

| Posted on 2011-02-26 | by a guest


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This is a wonderful piece of poetry. He is able to compare the life of humans to a simple spider flying through the wind. It amazes me.

| Posted on 2010-09-28 | by a guest


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this was really an astonishing moment that for the first time i read Whitman's poem entitled A Noiseless Patient Spider. i eraly liked it.
FIDELITY HOPE.

| Posted on 2010-04-28 | by a guest


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This is about the vulnerability of his soul in this vast realm of existence. To briefly summarize. He tries to find ways to accomodate his soul and find a place for it amongst the rest of the soul-filled world, hence the bit about venturing, seeking, and connecting. However, he is shooting in the dark, hence his reference to isolation and the measureless ocean of space. I am basing a narrative collage off this poem. Part of it depicts a nude woman curled and embracing herself in an emotional manner, to signify vulnerability.

| Posted on 2010-04-01 | by a guest


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this poem is about the searching a place for a soul. he feels himself alone.he is alone. it uses spider as a metaphore. it resembles to his soul.. thanx Whalt Whitman..

| Posted on 2010-03-15 | by a guest


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for me in reading a poem, the important thing is to look and see what's really there. Here the poet sees the spider which is traveling by throwing out a filament, and if the filament catches, the spider can move along it. this is what young spiders do when they're out looking for a place to build a web, The poet too is looking for a place where he can be content. Both the poet and the spider need to keep looking till they find their place, That's the surface of the poem. Whitman wrote a lot about death and about sex but neither one of these is mentioned here. If the poem were about sex or death or God or the afterlife (if any), he would've made sure we knew it. Most poets try to say just what they mean. It's a difficult art, to say just what one means, If you add stuff like sex or death or whatever, you're going to cover over what's there abd niss the meaning

| Posted on 2010-01-28 | by a guest


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The soul searching for anchor .
Building upon the post by guest 12/4/2008 below:
Whitman characterizes the life of the soul as a search for Truth amidst the Void. Ultimately, he gently asserts that the soul, while innately driven to search for spiritual anchors throughout one's earthly existence, will not find peace and certainty until freed from the body at death.
The spider that builds its web by casting out "filaments" until one catches and holds mirrors the soul's inherent tendency to constantly search for spiritual certainty. However, Whitman distinguishes between the two when he describes the spider "launch[ing] forth filament, filament, filament" in its repetitious attempt to connect to something, and the soul "ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres..." The soul is unlike the spider in its complexity--its ability to search further and wider.
But, paradoxically, the soul finds an "anchor" only in the Beyond, in the insubstantiality of death. The poem invokes death (and the afterlife) with the phrase the "bridge you will need" ("you" refers to his Soul), as in," the bridge you will need after the loss of earthly life." Dissolution from the body in death becomes the ultimate step in the soul's life-long search for truth. The soul is essentially uninvolved in this process (the bridge it "need[s]" will "be formed"), and yet, it comes back into play as it enters the afterlife: Whitman subtly relates the "bridge" to the "gossamer thread" - are they one and the same? - and the soul at last makes each final connection without the vast emptiness of life to inhibit it.
Is the poem positive or negative concerning life, death, the human condition? Whitman was a mystic and an artist - he didn't intend to "communicate a hidden meaning" here. Rather, he created a lovely and mysterious harmony of images, ideas, and emotions, meant not to be "decoded" or even "understood," but, as all great poetry, to be experienced, after repeated readings, as beautiful and sufficient unto itself.

| Posted on 2010-01-07 | by a guest


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I honestly think Whitman is talking about how this man is trying to find his soul and he's using the metaphor of a spider to compare it.

| Posted on 2010-01-07 | by a guest


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I have noticed it some time ago (yet quite recently regarding my age) that art is the greatest when one does not have faith in God.The soul searching for anchor...
Poetry by mistics is about light.

| Posted on 2009-12-12 | by a guest


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whitman creates a fast pace in the poem by his use of cataloging. this creates a sense of desperation to make connections. the speaker directly links his soul to a spider, which is not usually regarded as a pleasant creature. He feels unwanted and detatched from the world because his soul is ugly. His true feelings towards his own soul are revealed through this metaphor. Not only does he feel lonely, but he feels his soul is repulsive. why else would he be unable to make connections?

| Posted on 2009-11-06 | by a guest


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i don't know what some of you are talking about, but the word "detached" is no where in the poem.

| Posted on 2009-10-24 | by a guest


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Walt Whitman pisses me off. He stole Oscar Wilde from me. He was mine Damnit. HE WAS MINE! But I got that son of a bitch lincoln. I got him real good. OHHH YEAH!

| Posted on 2009-10-12 | by a guest


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I have decided that, to me, this poem speaks of the meaning of life. It compares the soul to a spider because despite humans' complexity, the purpose of our lives boils down to the actions that the spider will perform even on a "little promontory." We too ceaselessly muse, venture, and seek all of our lives. Is the bridge or anchor or gossamer thread attaching achieved in life or in death? Does it matter? After all, we are carrying out our functions. Even alone we launch forth "filament, filament, filament." This is what Whitman puts forth as the "Is" (as Richard Bach, in Illusions, would dub it).

| Posted on 2009-08-01 | by a guest


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I think Whitman is using the spider to refer to his hidden sexuality. Much research has shown that Whitman was indeed a homo-sexual so this poem is about finding acceptance. The spider is looking for hope in its dim situation. The spider needs social acceptance in order to survive.

| Posted on 2009-05-04 | by a guest


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Interesting.
Everyone has seemed to put idea along the lines of "he is searching for himself"
But my class assignment asks what EXACTLY is he looking for?
I don't understand the prompt because the poem is brief and vague.
Whitman never seems to specify what his soul is searching for, instead when he states "tread you fling, catch somewhere..." it seems as if his stating the soul is looking for anything.
Anything to hold on to, to connect to.
I'm not really sure, but that was my take on the poem.
Does anyone think he specified what his soul is looking for?
Please share.

| Posted on 2009-04-28 | by a guest


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I think Walt Whitman is SO SICK NEED A DOC YES, A CREATURE MONSTER LIKE THE LOCKNESS.

| Posted on 2009-03-12 | by a guest


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i believe that this poem is actually about his sexuality. For some historians related Whitman with Homosexuality and the many strugels he had with it. Also when we talks about a spider he is refering to a person that is non-talkitive, gentle, and part of nature, but at the same time may strike its opponent at any time.

| Posted on 2009-03-03 | by a guest


.: :.

actually this may not be about the spider or the soul at all. perhaps it depicts the struggles of a lonely persons, his cries for reaching out to others or something of the like. we must not give up trying to reach out to the skies .

| Posted on 2009-02-05 | by a guest


.: :.

In the poem, Whitman makes the assertion that the soul, while innately driven to search for spiritual anchors throughout one's earthly existence, will not find peace and certainty until it is truly freed from the body at death.
The soul's innate tendency to constantly search for spiritual certainty is illustrated by the spider that is designed to build its web no matter the circumstances. However, Whitman makes a clear distinction between the two as he describes a spider "launch[ing] forth filament, filament, filament" in its repetitious attempt to connect to something, and the soul "ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres...". The soul is unlike the spider in its complexity--its ability to search further and wider.
However, the soul does not find peace until death. Death, the "bridge you will need be formed", is inevitable, but is the ultimate step in the soul's life-long search for truth. While designed to search throughout the lifetime, the bridge it "need[s]" will "be formed"--the soul is essentially uninvolved in this process. But, it comes back into play as it enters the afterlife and makes each final connection without the vast emptiness of life to distract it.

| Posted on 2008-12-04 | by a guest


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uses the image of a spider to depict humans everyday struggle with the hardships in the world. In “A Noiseless Patient Spider” Walt Whitman is soul searching. He uses a noiseless patient spider as a metaphor for his soul. His soul is isolated a small peninsula, exploring the “vacant vast surrounding.” He is trying to connect to the world but feels isolated. He is “surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space.” He constantly seeks something that will connect him until the bridge is formed, the anchor can hold and the delicate thread can catch onto something. This poem is not at all about a spider but is one giant metaphor for a spider. The anchor he talks about is whatever will connect him with the world he is so detached from. He is surrounded by loneliness and sounds desperate to find what he is looking for.
However, he could feel his soul has a connection to spiders. Spiders may remind him of his own soul because of their nature, always alone and usually hidden away from society.

| Posted on 2008-11-28 | by a guest


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i want to know how you guys think of the humanity in this poem. i know walt whitman uses alot of humanity in his poems?

| Posted on 2008-10-13 | by a guest


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i think this poem is about walt whitman trying to find a home in societ.

| Posted on 2008-09-28 | by a guest


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he is not a cool person she is quite the annoying person. lets stab her three times in the neck cus that would be hilarious

| Posted on 2008-05-15 | by a guest


.: A Noiseless Patient Spide :.

In this poem I think Whitman is using the spider as a metaphor for someone who is 'soul searching', or looking for a connection between themself and the world. The stanza "Surrounded, detatched, in measureless oceans of space" seems to say that without this connection you are nowhere, floating around meaninglessly in space. Therefor, one must be "seeking the spheres to connect them,/Till the bridge you will need be form'd", or must continue searching "till the ductile anchor hold". Ductile meaning flexible, I think this "anchor" is whatever means is connecting this person to the world.

| Posted on 2008-04-23 | by a guest


.: A Noiseless Patient Spide :.

In this poem I think Whitman is using the spider as a metaphor for someone who is 'soul searching', or looking for a connection between themself and the world. The stanza "Surrounded, detatched, in measureless oceans of space" seems to say that without this connection you are nowhere, floating around meaninglessly in space. Therefor, one must be "seeking the spheres to connect them,/Till the bridge you will need be form'd", or must continue searching "till the ductile anchor hold". Ductile meaning flexible, I think this "anchor" is whatever means is connecting this person to the world.

| Posted on 2008-04-23 | by a guest


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I believe that the spider is a symbol of the striving soul and not an extended metaphor of the same.

| Posted on 2008-04-03 | by a guest


.: m m m :.

i think it's a searching of the soul. whitman tries to find himself in the lonliness around him. he does this with a desperation type tone.

| Posted on 2008-03-16 | by a guest


.: a noiseless patient spide :.

This poem by Walt Whitman is a good example of conciet using an extended metaphor throughout the whole poem. Reffering to himself as a noiseless patient spider.

| Posted on 2008-02-17 | by a guest


.: A noiseless patient spide :.

First of all no one really knows for sure that the speaker is really Whitman. Everyone is focused on the central metaphor of the poem lets talk about the theme. Consider especially what human experience the speaker is describing. Not exactly sure what the experience is so....But a possible theme for this poem could be that while searching for something you keep throwing out hope that you will make the connection that will allow you to rise above the material world and know something about spir

| Posted on 2008-01-11 | by a guest


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in my opinion the poem is comparing whitmans soul to the spider, as they both attempt to reach scross the unkown and find a connection in life. However, more directly the poet is comparing the literal idea of the spider to the figurative idea of the soul. The last couplet is a conclusion in which th epoep expresses his hope through the word 'till' that he might one day manage to make the connection he is seeking, just as th epsider will one day spin his web.

| Posted on 2007-11-26 | by a guest


.: A Noiseless Patient Spide :.

I think you're both right (on top), but it also goes deeper than that. A 'promonontory' is a high portion of land extending out into a body of water; a 'filament' a slender fiber or thread; and a 'ductile' a pliant- easily bent ~ just to give a starting point. Walt Whitman has a way of connecting pieces to nature and making it appear you have the theme of the poem on the surface. I think the spider is actually in connection to the society, or even greater yet the world. He's spinning in space, 'seeking the spheres,' and he's constantly concocting ways to behold what he's after – to mold over that one gap and create a passage, though quite fragile, until he can finally find another place to begin and end again, creating a giant web, hence the cycle, and spider, and comparison. But he refers to the spider as his soul at times because it so awkwardly reminds him of himself and in reality I think he is talking and describing himself and really not paying mind to the spider whatsoever, beginning with 'a noiseless patient spider' and ending the poem with 'O my Soul.' Those are just my ideas- we're talking about this tomorrow in Accelerated Lit. Maybe I will update with his ideas versus my originals~ see how different they were (I LOVE POETRY!)

| Posted on 2006-01-09 | by Approved Guest


.: I know it! :.

bridge can symbolize a need of finding happiness, and his soul struggles with relating with people, and trries to fill the empty space. The web connects people with himself, making a 'web' of life persay..the spider web symbolizes the soul...there is hinted personification of the spider. The first stanza can be interpreted as literal. How are the spider and the soul connected? It wanted to connect with people freely and unconditionaly to fill an empty void within itself

| Posted on 2004-11-09 | by kristikake




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