Monday, September 14, 2009

Walt Whitman: A noiseless patient spider

This weekend, the spiders were busy in our backyard. I watched one build a gigantic web around my sunflowers, and another bind an entire caterpillar in a womb of silky thread.

Spiderwebs always make me think of two things: Wilbur and poetry. Well, here's a little poetry for your soul this morning. (And speaking of poetry, if you're in Maine, there are a number of poetry events coming up to celebrate the new From the Fishouse Anthology.)

(Photo by manu gomi)

A noiseless patient spider
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.

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