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(31 May 1819 - 26 March 1892 / New York / United States)

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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, 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.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Edited: Wednesday, November 02, 2011


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Comments about this poem (A Promise To California by Walt Whitman )

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  • Walter White (1/4/2014 6:24:00 AM)

    Life, it needs structure.

    2 person liked.
    6 person did not like.
  • Paul Brookes (11/2/2012 8:43:00 AM)

    I'm beginning to think Mr Straw doesn't like any poetry from the past. Mind you his own poetrys not much to write home about in my opinion.

    Of course those who can do and in this case can't criticise. Nowhere in the poem does Whitman say a spider has thought or conscious actions so I'm not sure where he got that from.

  • Leonid Gonzalez (11/2/2012 7:11:00 AM)

    Sorry, second edition leaves of grass.

  • Leonid Gonzalez (11/2/2012 7:09:00 AM)

    I bought a volume two of his leaves of grass hard bounded, at a garage sale complete with the hard case. It is truly a wonderful book. I bought it not knowing who he was, and was introduced to the world of poetry. To be uninfluenced by todays society, technology, and world events, to be able to write poetry such ad this. Our world ad we know it is so small compared to theirs back then. To be unifluenced by today.

  • Sedative N Benjamin (11/2/2012 3:10:00 AM)

    where u stand... where u stand...

  • * Sunprincess * (10/5/2012 5:39:00 PM)

    sure everyones souls are connected with fine unseen gossamer thread..remember genesis

  • Kevin Straw (7/30/2012 1:52:00 PM)

    To the rude Olivarez who does not have the manners (or I suspect the intelligence) to define why my comment is stupid: Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, —seeking the spheres, to connect them... Man connects himself to the universe consciously, the spider does it unconsciously - there is no comparison. It is OK to be a fan of a poet, but not to the extent that you will not hear an ything against him or her.

  • Michael Lasalle (7/19/2012 2:28:00 PM)

    What feels like ambiguity central to the reflective nature of the meaning draws upon a collective sense of concentration central to word crafting, the comparative nature commemorates the idea that even the tiniest
    of slightest out of sight objects are able to create a force within their own multivariate. The conscious
    prospect reflecting upon the subconscious reasoning reassuring oneself the universe is what we make it.

  • Abhishek Tiwari (11/2/2011 11:51:00 PM)

    Spiders with its infinite patience have always been a source of inspiration..
    The little arthropod conquers its surrounding., and makes a space for itself..
    and our soul always surrounded yet so marooned, also tries to find a space for itself!

  • Juan Olivarez (11/2/2011 3:50:00 PM)

    I am surprised that Kevin Straw's stupid comment is still there after two years. You would think he wouldbe embarrassed enough to remove itby now.

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