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A Noiseless Patient Spider -- Walt Whitman

Guest poem submitted by Divya Guru Rajan :
(Poem #445) A Noiseless Patient Spider
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, detached, 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.
-- Walt Whitman
I came across this poem in an anthology of American poetry. Didn't quite realise
the extent of Whitman's influence till I read Beat generation writing and learnt
that he'd been one of their sources of inspiration.

This might sound pompous and cliched and I might be mistaken too but what really
got me about this poem is the superb manner in which he's depicted the restless
wanderings of a soul, caught in a world that it can only dimly comprehend. One
could relate to it as it connects on a very emotive level and the angst is
almost palpable. By the way this was written in 1862.


P.S A stylistical analysis is more than what my noodle can attempt and so I
might have missed out on some important aspects!

19 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

Ortez87 said...

In the poem, the persona is literally observing a spider spinning its web. He
compares the spider to his soul because like the spider he feels like he is
in a vast surrounding indicating that he feels lost. Unlike the spider, his
soul has nothing to connect with. Like a spider making its web, the soul tosses
pieces of itself out randomly in hopes that it will find a solid place to start

cheap viagra said...

It is ironically that this poem speaks about a spider that it is slow (patient is constantly associate with slow movements) but when they make the web. They are quite fast.

xl pharmacy said...

That's right Mr. Viagra I think the poem is not very well done. The irony is present from the beginning to the end. I have seen better poems in this blog.

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