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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


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


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

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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.
Read more at x

| Posted on 2014-09-04 | by a guest

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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.

| 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