Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Chip Lewis Blog 1

The poem I chose to analyze is Walt Whitman's A Noiseless Patient Spider. This poem portrays one's soul or mind to a spider, quietly working "tirelessly" to explore the word and find its place in society. Whitman starts off the poem by placing himself on an isolated promontory, all alone wanting to expand into the "vacant vast surrounding." This surrounding is society and the world because he wants to explore his environment out to that vacancy. He wants to take up that vacancy and leave his own mark, or web, on the world. Whitman states the spider works tirelessly unreeling and speeding filament from itself. Whitman is trying to portray to the reader that one must push themselves and establish their own lives through hard work, courage, and dedication. However, by the title of the poem, one must be patient and take what they are given (noiseless) in their lives. Patience is considered a virtue, and by being patient and being grateful with what you are presented, a day will come that will reward your actions.

In the second stanza, Whitman describes the world around the spider, saying that it is "surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space." We, as individuals, make up not even a billionth of the world's population, and Whitman continues to drive the message of determination into the reader's head by stating the spider is "ceaslessly musing, venturing, throwing" filament towards spheres. These references are displaying the courage and determination one needs to venture out into the open world.

Another particular message I received is one cannot be completely selfish and stubborn on their journey into the vast world. Our minds and souls need to realize that we cannot expand into the "measureless oceans of space" by ourselves, and we need to "connect" with others on our ventures. A spider lives of the connection of its filaments, forming a giant, beautiful web. Whitman is telling the reader that many beautiful things can come out of people connecting each others ideas or attitudes (filaments).

However, until these connections come upon the reader, or until "the gossamer thread [one] fling[s] catch[es] somewhere, O my soul."

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