A Noiseless Patient Spider, wrote Whitman

Whitman’s 19th century poem reads like this:

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

In my alter ego as the spider whisperer, I gently collect those who find their way indoors and let them out with a message they may not understand—”have a nice day”. More patient some may be than others of their ilk, meandering about my hand or clinging to the tissue that holds them softly.

As for those along the way my dog and I walk, they are never to be seen. Silk runs from one rock or weed to another, inches from the ground. Is it intentional, leaving the trail to remind themselves where they have been or how to get where they’re going? Perhaps it’s a leaky spinneret that leaves web material as the arachnid moves hither and yon. Not for me to say.

As for my own soul, it’s more impatient than serene. Persistent though, I am—continually searching for those connections with prospective readers of the words I assemble in blog posts and stories. Networking, promotions and responding to others like me—that’s a less than well spun web. What might have Whitman made of the tools our 21st century writers use? The writing is coming now, better than ever before; the web spinning will progress from my soul too. All in good time.


4 thoughts on “A Noiseless Patient Spider, wrote Whitman

  1. Loved your comparison to Whitman’s poem. Aren’t we all searching for that perfect formula to gather readers and keeping them entertained and amused?
    I’m glad to hear the writing is flowing! May it fill your creative soul. 🙂

    1. It struck me as I read the poem. Yes, I’m pushing on multiple fronts these days–more readers, more writing and a one-day adult Ed course I’m presenting on October 9th. Then we can celebrate our anniversary later that month watching Ka, one of the resident Cirque du Soleil shows in Vegas.

  2. Lovely post John – I enjoy seeing spider webs, they’re so delicate. They look so fragile, yet the thread is strong .

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