A Noiseless Patient Spider Summary & Analysis

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About the Poem “A Noiseless Patient Spider

Poem TitleA Noiseless Patient Spider
AuthorWalt Whitman
Publication YearOriginally published in 1891
Poetic FormFree verse
ThemeIsolation, connection, nature
SettingThe natural world, the soul’s search for connection
SpeakerFirst-person narrative from the poet’s perspective
StructureTwo stanzas, each with contrasting imagery and ideas
ToneContemplative, introspective
Literary DevicesMetaphor, symbolism, alliteration

Themes of A Noiseless Patient Spider

The themes of the poem “A Noiseless Patient Spider” by Walt Whitman are:

  1. Isolation ➤ The feeling of being alone and disconnected from others.
  2. Connection ➤ The human desire to connect with others and find meaning in life.
  3. Nature ➤ How nature and its creatures, like the spider, can reflect our own struggles and desires.
  4. Persistence ➤ The idea that, like the patient spider, we keep trying to connect with others despite the challenges.
  5. Spiritual Search ➤ The poem explores the search for a deeper, spiritual meaning in life.

A Noiseless Patient Spider” Poem by Walt Whitman

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.

A Noiseless Patient Spider Summary & Analysis

Stanza 1

The speaker of the poem, Walt Whitman, observes a quiet and patient spider spinning its web on a rocky ledge. The speaker is enthralled by the spider’s ability to weave its web out of itself, as well as by the way the web connects the spider to its surroundings.

The speaker describes the spider as “noiseless” and “patient.” This suggests that the spider is not concerned with drawing attention to itself, but rather with building its web. The speaker also describes the spider as “isolated,” but notes that it can still communicate with the outside world through its web.

The description of the spider’s web by the speaker is also significant. The web is called a “filament,” which refers to a thin and delicate thread. This implies that the spider’s web is both delicate and powerful. It’s also known as “ever unreeling” and “ever tirelessly speeding.” This implies that the spider’s work is never finished, and that it is always trying to connect with the world around it.

Stanza 2

In the second stanza, the speaker turns to address their own soul. The speaker compares their soul to a spider, implying that we are all on a quest to connect with something greater than ourselves.

The speaker tells their soul that it is also surrounded by a vast and measureless space. This implies that our souls are constantly looking for ways to connect with something outside of the physical world. The speaker also informs their soul that it is “isolated,” but that it can still communicate with the outside world via its own web.

The speaker encourages the listener’s soul to keep spinning its web and to have faith that it will eventually catch somewhere. This message of hope is similar to the first stanza’s message, which suggests that the spider’s web represents our own ability to connect with the world around us.

FAQs from A Noiseless Patient Spider

What is the meaning of the poem A Noiseless Patient Spider?

The meaning of the poem is that we are all on a journey to find meaning and connection in a vast and sometimes lonely world.

What does the speaker compare the spider to in A Noiseless Patient Spider?

In the poem, the speaker compares the spider to a person’s soul.

What literary devices are used in A Noiseless Patient Spider?

The poem “A Noiseless Patient Spider” by Walt Whitman uses the literary devices of personification and metaphor to compare the spider to the speaker’s soul.

What message does the poet want to convey?

The poet wants to convey the message that we are all interconnected and should keep trying to connect with others, even though it may be difficult.

How does A Noiseless Patient Spider reflect Whitman’s uncertainty about man’s destiny?

The poem reflects Whitman’s uncertainty about man’s destiny by comparing the soul to a spider spinning its web in a vast and measureless space, suggesting that we are all on a journey to connect with something larger than ourselves, but there is no guarantee that we will ever find it.

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