This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Spider And Soul In Walt Whitman's A Noiseless Patient Spider

1340 words - 5 pages

The Spider and Soul in Walt Whitman's A Noiseless Patient Spider
Works Cited Not Included

In “A Noiseless Patient Spider”, Walt Whitman compares the images of a spider creating a web to catch its prey to his own soul. In the first stanza, he describes the spider creating its web. In the second stanza, he begins to describe his own soul searching for something it needs. Throughout the poem, Whitman is relating the spider to the human soul by showing how both would pursue and capture what they need to continue to exist in this life.

In line one, “A noiseless, patient spider” shows a spider that seems to be waiting for what it is searching for. Perhaps it is waiting for a chance to strike at its prey if it were detected in time. The soul seems to be doing nearly the same thing when Whitman says the soul is “ceaselessly musing” (line 8). Musing is when someone is pondering about something in silence. Both images are being described as moving in careful silence. The spider seems to be planning to trick the prey into being caught. Perhaps whatever the soul is looking for must be tricked into being caught. If both were to let their presence be known, their elusive prey may disappear.

In order for either the spider or the soul to capture its prey, first they both must create a way to trap what they need and trick it into being caught. “It launched forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself, ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them” (lines 4-5). These lines are describing the spider while it makes its web. The poet uses the word “tirelessly” to show that the spider must complete its task of finding sustenance in order to survive. The repetition of the word “filament” shows how deliberately the spider is creating the web. These two words show that it must not be affected by anything else in its environment because this may cause it to loose its prey. The words “launched” and “speeding” could mean that the spider must act quickly in order to catch its prey. The verbs “venturing, throwing, seeking” (line 8) may show how the soul searches for what it needs to survive. To venture is to do something daring or perhaps something that may involve danger. “Throwing” shows the soul, much like the spider, casting its lines as a connection to whatever surrounds it in order to find what it is looking for. “Seeking shows that the soul is looking for what it needs. Perhaps what the souls is looking for is what it needs to make the person feel complete.

The poet also decides to describe the spiders’ and the soul’s surroundings. The spider is seen on “a little promontory” as “it stood isolated” (line 2). The spider also “Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding” (line 3). The poet is showing that the spider, though the natural world around him carries on without end, the spider does not notice it. The spider is isolated by the fact that he is so focused upon obtaining his prey, that he does not care...

Find Another Essay On The Spider and Soul in Walt Whitman's A Noiseless Patient Spider

The Amazing Spider-Man Essay

1153 words - 5 pages In New York City Spider-Man was protecting the innocent, and his loved ones as usually, but he was hurt when fighting and defeating Doc Oc., and decided to quit being Spider-Man. But after many innocent people were hurt by the Green Goblin Peter Parker decides to come back as Spider-Man. When his lifelong love Gwen Stacy his captured by the Green Goblin. Spider-Man, otherwise known as Peter Parker, was taking a walk, and the Green Goblin

Ka'u And Mr. Spider Essay

776 words - 4 pages the Nene gooses came out to listen to wonderful Ka’u. ‘I’iwi and the ‘elepaio birds sang in the distance all was wonderful and peaceful. Mr. Spider heard Ka’u wonderful playing and said “I want explore my small little forest and find out who was making that sound”. So he set off searching and looking. Hang on a line of silk Mr. Spider spun himself he was about to give up till he spotted her and started his descent to the hula mound. Ka’u, in her

Ka’uhane and Mr. Spider

810 words - 4 pages listen. ‘I’iwi and the ‘Elepaio birds sang in the distance. All was wonderful and peaceful. Mr. Spider heard Ka’u’s wonderful playing and said “What is making that angelic sound? I must thank whoever is making that divine music.” So he set off searching. While hang on a line of silk, Mr. Spider spun himself, he spotted her and started his descent to the hula mound. Ka’u, deep in a musical focus suddenly felt something hairy crawl up her leg. She

Spider and Opiliones

691 words - 3 pages -legged arachnids, and while they may look similar, numerous differences have been discovered and observed in all aspects of their lives. Body Spiders have two visible body segments – the cephalothorax, which is the rounded head section, and the cylindrical abdomen. (2) The opiliones’ body appears to have a single oval-shaped body segment, but this is because a junction is difficult to discern between the head section and the abdomen. (3) Spiders

The Black Spider

821 words - 4 pages make sure it stayed this way. When Christine intervened in their problems and made the deal with the devil, everything slowly began to unravel. Due to Christine’s lack of judgment and betrayal to the devil, the black spider, a forceful and deadly evil was unleashed upon their town. This poisonous spider emerges from her cheek, birthing this sin upon their town. It inflicts a complete and utter disaster upon their village, disrupting the

Death and Regeneration in Walt Whitman's Poem, When Lilacs Last In The Dooryard Bloom'd

562 words - 2 pages Death and Regeneration in Walt Whitman's Poem, When Lilacs Last In The Dooryard Bloom'd Whitman in 1865 wrote an elegy for President Lincoln entitled "When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd." The "Lilacs" elegy is an outpouring of the deep sense of loss that Whitman felt after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. The President's death was a great shock to the poet; it overwhelmed him in a very personal way. Whitman

Religion in Walt Whitman's Literature

1326 words - 5 pages contradictions that are in Walt Whitman's writings. The sea for all of its beauty, "cushion me soft, rock me in billowy drowse" (pg. 42), has the darker side with the "convulsive breaths" of vicious waves. The sea is something to be admired and to be feared. It is an apt metaphor for nature and of a god, for they give you life and must be loved and be wary of. This wary part of life is thoroughly examined also by Whitman. He leaves nothing out of his

Walt Whitman's Life in Words

1442 words - 6 pages October 20, 2009Walt Whitman was born in 1819 on Long Island, New york. He was the son of a carpenter, Walt Whitman, Sr. Walt's mother, Louisa Whitman, was a descendant of Dutch farmers. His parents were Quakers, and Quakers were more liberal in their churches and in the ways they served God. They believed in equality and democracy. These doctrines later shaped Whitman's values and are reflected in his works. He left school early, and during his

Nature and Death in Walt Whitman's Song of Myself

677 words - 3 pages There are many "popular" topics used frequently by authors. Love, religion, and war are some favorites. Two other such topics we typically read about are nature and death. The two can be discussed separately or they can be related to each other. Walt Whitman, a lover of nature, tackled these subjects in "Song of Myself" from Leaves of Grass. Another author who does the same is William Cullen Bryant. Though two very different writers

A four page paper about Spider Monkeys

689 words - 3 pages The Spider monkey is a primate with the scientific name Ateles geoffroyi. There are nine subspecies under this name, three of which are endangered. They are found in a wide range of places, extending from Mexico to Brazil. Spider monkeys are very interesting animals.Spider monkeys put into subspecies based on appearance. They can move through the trees very quickly and efficiently. They have long arms and long legs, but a very slender body. They

The Meaning of Life in Walt Whitman's Song of Myself

1009 words - 4 pages The Meaning of Life in Walt Whitman's Song of Myself Our culture seems to be fascinated by the unknown and specifically that which pertains to things of an eternal nature such as Heaven, angels, God and the meaning of forever. These things cause us to think about what we can't see and even allow us to engage ourselves in questioning the meaning behind our existence and what our purpose is here on earth. Some of these may be humorous and

Similar Essays

The Powerful Use Of Imagery And Metaphor In A Noiseless Patient Spider By Walt Whitman

647 words - 3 pages The heart of poetry is in its imagery, which leads the reader to perceive all of the senses the poet was feeling – the sights, sounds, scents, touches. A poet uses imagery to evoke these emotions in the reader to paint a mental picture – to “show” the reader the experience that inspired the poet, not just “tell” the story. In “A Noiseless Patient Spider,” Walt Whitman’s use of metaphor and powerful imagery emphasizes the speaker’s own

A Poem Analysis: "A Noiseless Patient Spider" By Walt Whitman

1640 words - 7 pages body, as wellas of nature, as a vehicle in this process, his method is similar to Emerson's.Using the spider-web metaphor suggested by Emerson, Whitman explainsin the last five lines of "A Noiseless Patient Spider" the situation of his ownpoetic soul and what that soul attempts to do. Whitman's poetic soul, like thespider stands isolated at the center of things. If it is to take on meaning, itmust, as Emerson put it, "come to a ripeness of

Defining The Soul In Walt Whitman's Song Of Myself

780 words - 3 pages Every sentence in Walt Whitman's "Song of Myself" tends to either repeat or contradict. He even says of himself, "I contradict myself" (Lauter, p. 2793). This can make Whitman's poetry a little confusing to some. In his many stanzas, definition of the soul is ambiguous and somewhat contradictory. Whitman says, "Clear and sweet is my soul....and clear and sweet is all that is not my soul" (Lauter, p. 2745). What I believe Whitman

Dickinson's The Spider Holds A Silver Ball

1087 words - 4 pages Dickinson's The Spider holds a Silver Ball Paradox baffles and inspires thinkers because it wipes out the greatest of conclusions, puts us intimately in touch with the very nature of inexplicable feeling, both simultaneously implodes and explodes the mind, and of course induces a certain sensation, as Dickinson puts it, “as if the top of my head were taken off.” It seems to me that in art this is the fix we desire, where sensation