A Noiseless Patient Spider

The Meanings of Life in the Poems Facing West from California’s Shores by Walt Whitman and a Noiseless Patient Spider

June 7, 2021 by Essay Writer

What is The Meaning For This?!

This lovely paper is going to tell you just what you’re lookin’ for. The two poems by Walt Whitman: “Facing West From California’s Shores” and “A Noiseless Patient Spider” both introduce meanings to life. The details of the life are more direct in “Facing West From California’s Shores” more so than “A Noiseless Patient Spider.” The poem “A Noiseless Patient Spider” seemed to come from deeper inside as if he had a void inside. It seems that in “Facing West From California’s Shores” he is more worried about the present, whereas in “ A Noiseless Patient Spider” he focuses on the past. This essay is going to contrast the differences between both of these poems that share a common idea, “the meaning of life.”

It’s to my belief that “Facing West From California’s Shores” introduces the meaning of life better than “A Noiseless Patient Spider,” because in “Facing West From California’s Shores” I can relate more to the travels and the necessity for exploration. I can visually imagine the California Shores and the whole world melting in front of it. I can see the foreign lands and far away places. With “A Noiseless Patient Spider” all I see really is a spider in front of water rather than a wandering soul.

Another belief of mine is that the meaning in “A Noiseless Patient Spider” has more of an internal meaning, one in which you should feel rather than see. Sure “Facing West From California’s Shores” helps you see visually what your life should amount to, and that there isn’t a set limit, you can do as much as you let yourself succeed to. But it’s what’s on the inside that counts right? “A Noiseless Patient Spider” talks about how your wandering soul needs to find it’s bridge to pass farther on life. And that’s pretty deep considering he says sometimes we have to make those bridges to keep going.

In “Facing West From California’s Shores” the present is what is necessary to discuss, the need to find home after traveling for so long. In “A Noiseless Patient Spider” it seems he is looking back on how life has been and the path he had to take, it seemed like a tedious task and an inert one too. Motion to now and even ahead comes out of “Facing West From California’s Shores” where he says that he can see the whole world wrap around the shoreline, and in my head it happened slowly and kept movement. The idea of traveling is still common thought, but the idea of actually finding yourself has become a past idea really, and that’s another reason I think that “Facing West From California’s Shores” relates better to the present.

Hopefully this essay showed you what you’re lookin’ for abou the two poems and their meanings pertaining to life. That details of the life are more direct in “Facing West From California’s Shores” more so than “A Noiseless Patient Spider” because of the direct connection, rather than the emotional connection. You now know why it’s to my belief that the poem “A Noiseless Patient Spider” seemed to come from deeper inside. In “Facing West From California’s Shores” he was concerned with the present, whereas in “ A Noiseless Patient Spider” he had focused on the past. So now hopefully this article was able to differentiate the contrasts between both of these poems that share a typical thought, “the significance of life.”

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Main Ideas Of A Noiseeless Patient Spider by Walt Whitman

June 7, 2021 by Essay Writer

The Spider that Could

In the poem “A Noiseless Patient Spider” by Walt Whitman he speaks of a spider that faces problems and has no one to help it through them. Walt Whitman uses elements such as imagery and symbolism. He uses imagery to allow the reader to understand the surroundings, feelings, actions of both the speaker and spider. Symbolism is used to describe the actions of the spider while connecting them to human situations and how they are dealt with. Walt Whitman wants to convey to the reader that the problems that one face will be defeated with effort and perseverance.

In the first stanza Walt Whitman uses imagery to show the setting of the poem. He uses “noiseless” in the beginning to describe the spider and how it does not react to the situation like most people do when something suddenly comes up. In the second and third line of the first stanza Whitman uses “stood isolated/…vacant vast surrounding” to show that the spider is analyzing the problem before doing anything that it may regret. He also uses imagery to show how the spider then starts to build a solution for this. This relates to human nature because when people are faced with a problem most of the time people tackle it, just like how in the fourth line Whitman claimed the spider did “filament, filament, filament” taking its time.

Walt Whitman uses symbolism to compare the struggles of the spider to human life and how it is dealt with. The first stanza starts off with “A noiseless patient spider” Whitman seems to describe a person that could have been faced with a problem and is analyzing it. In the last two lines Whitman talks about how “It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,” this symbolizes the effort of the spider and how it is taking it slow and being cautious. Most humans in intense situations will take their time and be aware of what they are doing in order to overcome the problem.

Whitman uses imagery once again in the second stanza to paint a picture of having the problem consume the spider like it does in life if it is given to much negative attention. In the second line of the stanza he states that the spider is “ measureless oceans of space” meaning there is no way that the problem could be tackled yet because there is no solution yet. Whitman then ends by saying “Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere,” meaning the end of the problem. Once the situation is back to normal and humans have their solution to the problems.

Symbolism is in this stanza too when Walt Whitman uses “Surrounded, detached” in the second line to show that the spider is so consumed in this bump in the road that now it is all it could think about. Sometimes people can be so focused on something that it just takes away time and energy that could be used for something that makes them more happy. In the fourth line Walt uses “till the ductile anchor hold,” and it means that the spider would have to wait until it has the perfect plan to execute anything. Just like anybody would have to wait for the perfect moment in which they would be able to make things right again.

The imagery and symbolism in this poem relate to real human life because when effort and perseverance are put to use the problem is not as big. The imagery showed how the problem affected the spider and its socialness. The symbolism of the poem relates to the reality of life and its complications and “A Noiseless Patient Spider” by Walt Whitman is a great representation of life and its randomness.

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Analysis of the Poem a Noiseless Patient Spider by Walt Whitman

April 13, 2021 by Essay Writer

The speaker of the poem titled “A Noiseless Patient Spider” by Walt Whitman is Walt Whitman himself. I came to this conclusion since it is in the first person perspective as evidenced with the usage of the word “I”. We know that his attitudes on race have been described as “unstable and inconsistent.” He did not constantly agree with the abolitionists, but praised human dignity. He is considered one of the greatest American poets. Romanticism was a movement Whitman was involved with.

“A Noiseless Patient Spider” was originally published in October 1868 by the

Broadway Magazine. This is a little bit over three years since the American Civil War ended on April 9, 1865. It would be understandable that the United States is still recovering from such a large scale conflict. I believe this is the event that prompts the reader to speak since it affected so many citizens in the United States. Ideas were being conflicted and many lives were lost during the course of the war.

Walt Whitman is speaking to individuals who have a lot of patience as that is his main focus in his poem. He wants people to slow down and take a look at the world around them. There are most likely many details that they miss or events taking place that they never bother to notice. In this case, Whitman is observing the life of a spider. Impatience will do very little for you besides making you easy to aggravate and have a low tolerance for anything that comes your way. Everyone should strive to be like the spider is basically what he is trying to say.

The purpose of the poem is to express that animals and humans are not so different from one another. They have many characteristics they share with one another, but Whitman emphasizes only one of them in his poem. Both share the trait of persistence which Whitman sees in his own soul and the spider. Persistence is “the act of persisting or persevering; continuing or repeating behavior.”

The subject of the poem is patience. When you are patient, you notice more about the world around you. It is comparable to opening yourself up to a whole new world and we should all strive to become patient people. Whitman describes the intricate process of a spider weaving its threads to form a web. The tone of the poem is admiring. Whitman expresses admiration over the spider over the course of the poem, focused on it like a lens and not letting it out of his sight with his constant observations.

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Depiction of Poet’s Sout in a Noiseless Patient Spider

April 13, 2021 by Essay Writer

Explication of A Noiseless Patient Spider

The poem, A Noiseless Patient Spider, connects the life of a spider to the soul of the poet. The speaker talks about a spider on a high peak above a body of water trying to create a web. When the spider attempts to create a web in the “vacant vast surrounding,” in line 3, the spider has trouble making a straight web that connects to the otherside. The spider has patience as said in the first line when the speaker repeats the title of the poem in the first line when the speaker writes “A noiseless patient spider,” to show emphasis. The poet compares the struggles of the spider to his life in trying to find out who he is in the world. No matter how many times you try to reach your goal, never give up because eventually you will get there.

Many times the spider launched his web “ever tirelessly speeding them,” hoping to get a good grip and finish his home. This shows the reader that the tone is desperate because the spider will not give up. The speaker connects this with his soul and how he is lost and isolated from the rest of the world. In the beginning, “A noiseless patient spider”, the author uses personification when writing down patient as a trait for the spider.

In stanza two the poem no longer talks about the spider because the speaker has already put enough emphasis into the life of the spider that we will keep the thought of its struggles in our minds read the rest of the poem as it gets into more deeper thoughts about the poet. When the speaker writes that he is “surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,” he is saying that he is alone and he does not know what to do with his life. The speaker tries many times “ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,” in an effort to find out who he is in this world and eventually, he will. In the last two sentences of the poem they both start with the word till. This gives the reader a sense of conclusion because by trying many times the spider eventually gets a firm grip as there is a straight line of web for the spider to finish the rest of his home when is says the “ductile anchor hold,” symbolizing that the spider’s web has connected to the other side firmly. The speaker also finally finds something in his life that can help him find out who he really is when reality hits him when the poem concludes with “thread you fling catch somewhere, O, My soul.”

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Diversity of Walt Whitman’s Poems

April 13, 2021 by Essay Writer

The title of Walt Whitman’s poem, “A Noiseless, Patient Spider”, implies that the poem will be about a spider that is most likely working on its web since this is the most common representation of spiders. The poem does turn out to be about a spider working on its web, more specifically the spider is trying to get the web started. It is shooting its web in many directions trying to get it to stick to something. The second half of the poem is Whitman comparing the spider to his own lonely soul trying to find its way.

This whole poem is an extended metaphor that compares the spider and the soul of Whitman. They are both lonely and searching for the way to go and something to connect with Whitman uses his description of the spider as, “a noiseless, patient spider” (1), as personification of the spider. People are normally described as noiseless and patient, not spiders, making the spider seem more like a person. He does this to add to the effect of the metaphor that he uses in the poem. He also uses alliteration in describing the spider when he says, “vacant, vast surrounding” (3). The purpose of this is to emphasize that the spider is lonely and isolated. Using alliteration again, Whitman then says, “it launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself” (4). He uses this alliteration to add to the image of the spider repeatedly launching its webs trying to find something to connect to. Next, Whitman uses an apostrophe when he says, “O my Soul” (6). He addresses his soul in order to introduce the other half of his metaphor and to introduce it as a living thing by addressing it directly. He also makes his soul seem living by personifying it when he says, “ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing” (8). The personification of both the spider and his soul together help connect the two in the metaphor.

The tone of this poem is lonely and helpless as the narrator is searching for something his soul can connect with. The descriptions of the spider and his soul both include words that show this tone like isolated and surrounded. There is a big shift in the poem from line 5 to line 6. The first half of the poem is describing the spider and its struggles to find something to attach its web to. In the second half, Whitman never mentions the spider again but shifts to describing his soul which is the other half of a metaphor comparing the spider and his soul. The title of the poem, “A Noiseless, Patient Spider”, actually means that the poem is about a spider searching for a start to its web and how this connects to the lonely soul of Walt Whitman. The theme of this poem is that Whitman feels that his soul is isolated from the real world. The purpose of the extended metaphor in the poem was to bring to the attention of the reader this theme. The spider and the soul are both isolated and can’t find something to grasp onto.

The title of Walt Whitman’s poem, “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer”, implies that the poem will be about Whitman’s experience listening to an astronomer talk about space. The poem is actually about being at a lecture from a famous astronomer who is talking about, “the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me” (2). The astronomer is talking about the stars in a mathematical way and it is making the speaker bored so he leaves and goes outside. He sees the stars in the sky and is much more satisfied with actually seeing them then hearing the astronomer talk about numbers.

This poem is an anecdote told by the speaker about him attending a lecture about the astronomy. At the beginning of the poem, Whitman uses anaphora with the repetition of “when” at the start of each line. He uses this to give the effect that the astronomer is rambling on in his lecture. Whitman also lists off many mathematical terms like proofs, figures, diagrams, and dividing to create an image for the reader of math and to associate the astronomer and the lecture with math. He wants to make this connection to contrast with the way he wants you to see the outside world. Once the speaker is outside, it is described as mystical, moist, and perfectly silent in order to create an image of nature and to make outside seem superior to the lecture. Whitman uses juxtaposition for this effect as the position of the descriptions of the lecture and the outside world emphasizes their differences. Another way Whitman emphasizes this comparison is with the alliteration when he says, “in the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time, look’d up in perfect silence at the stars” (7-8). There are three cases of alliteration in these last two lines of the poem, really bringing light to the point that the natural view of the stars is better than hearing about the mathematical view. Finally, Whitman uses a hyperbole when he says that he glided out of the room. This is an exaggeration since he couldn’t have actually glided but he says that he did to show how easy it was for him to leave the lecture since he didn’t want to be there. It was natural and it took no effort to get himself to go outside where he belongs.

The tone of the poem is negative toward the astronomer, positive toward nature, and it is also lonely. The description of the astronomer’s view of space makes it seem inferior to the speaker’s natural view which shows that the tone favors nature. The tone is also lonely which can be seen as the speaker seems to be the only one with these feeling and he says, “I wander’d off by myself” (6). The poem has a shift when the speaker leaves the lecture in line 6. The beginning of the poem describes the speaker listening to the lecture and he is not satisfied with the way the astronomer talks about space. When the speaker goes outside into nature, the mood of the poem becomes much happier and peaceful and the speaker is much more satisfied with looking at the stars themselves. The title of the poem, “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer”, actually means that the poem is about the speaker’s feelings that the learn’d astronomer has it all wrong and that nature is superior. This is the theme of the poem, that nature is superior to education. Whitman is trying to convey a transcendental message that he feels that people should go outside and look at the stars and experience them instead of calculating things and learning about astronomy.

I have a connection with this poem in particular because I agree with Whitman’s feelings that nature is superior to education. I feel that I get a lot more out of going outside and actually looking at the way nature works instead of learning about it in biology or actually observing things happening instead of calculating what would happen in physics. I feel that sometimes that the things we learn in school are useless like the way Whitman heard the astronomer’s lecture as a bunch of rambling. In a slightly unrelated note, I hated gym class in ninth grade because of the lack of actual physical activity. We spent so much time doing worksheets and watching powerpoints talking about exercising and never actually took the time to exercise. I feel like I could have gotten a lot more value out of going outside and playing sports instead of learning about it in a classroom setting. This is similar to Whitman’s view of learning about nature through mathematics because he would much rather just go and experience nature first hand.

The title of the poem, “Song of Myself”, gives the reader the impression that the poem will be about Walt Whitman himself and will describe what makes him who he is as a person. The poem is really about how Whitman sees himself and the world, what he believes, and his personality. The given section is the first part of the poem. He begins by saying that the poem will be celebrating himself. He then talks about how he loves nature and he is a part of nature. He says that people should not take things from others but should rely on themselves. Finally, he observes himself and says that he is beautiful in every way.

Whitman uses personification of his soul when he says, “I loafe and invite my soul, I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass” (4-5). This is personification since he makes his soul seem like a person that he can invite to come watch grass with him. He does this to create an effect in the poem that his personality has different parts and his soul is one of these. Making these parts seem like people makes it easier for the reader to grasp the point. He also uses a hyperbole when he says, “every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you” (3). Obviously the reader does not actually own every atom of Whitman but he exaggerates in order to connect with the reader, enabling them to understand the poem better. As another method to connect with the reader, Whitman uses rhetorical questions to the reader. For example, he says “Have you reckon’d a thousand acres much? Have you reckon’d the earth much?” (31). He also uses the repetition of “you shall” at the beginnings of lines 35-38 to emphasize that people need to rely on themselves instead of other people in society. This is also an allusion to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s transcendental essay, “Self-Reliance”.

The tone of this poem is optimistic, happy, and self-loving. Whitman shows that he appreciates himself as a beautiful person and loves life. He also loves nature and the way the world works and how he is a part of it. He shifts topics many times in the poem from talking about himself to talking about nature, society, and himself again. The title of the poem really does mean that the poem will be celebrating Whitman and describing who he is. The theme that Whitman is trying to convey in this poem is to be self-reliant and love yourself for who you are. The whole poem is about how Whitman loves himself and he directly states that, “you shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self” (38), meaning that you should decide things for yourself instead of letting other people do it for you.

These three works by Walt Whitman all share similar concepts related to transcendentalism. Traditionally, Transcendentalists believe in four basic premises which are the power of the individual, the universe duplicates the self, nature is symbolic, and self realization as push and pull. These four premises can be seen in the three poems through their themes and literary devices.

In the poem, “A Noiseless, Patient Spider”, transcendentalist principles can be seen in the themes and language. The second, third, and fourth premises of transcendentalism can both be found in this poem. The second premise, the universe duplicates the self, is shown by the extended metaphor that Whitman uses. This metaphor comparing the spider to Whitman’s soul shows a connection between the way the human soul works to the way that nature works in the spider making its web. The third premise, nature is symbolic, can be seen in the personification of the spider. Whitman describes the spider as, “A noiseless, patient spider” (1), giving it human characteristics. This personification shows that Whitman sees the spider as symbolic for the way his soul is lost and trying to grasp onto something as well. The fourth premise, self realization as push and pull, is shown in the theme of the poem that Whitman’s soul is isolated from the real world. This relates to the push and pull felt by transcendentalists to withdraw from society or stay part of society.

The poem, “When I Heard The Learn’d Astronomer”, includes transcendental elements as well. It includes the first and fourth premises of transcendentalism. The first premise, the power of the individual, is shown when the speaker leaves the lecture to be alone. He relies on himself instead of relying on what the astronomer tells him is true. He sees more value in seeing the stars for himself instead of hearing someone else talk about them, showing the power of the individual. The fourth premise, self realization as push and pull, is also shown in this poem and the speaker leaves the lecture. He feels the push portion of this as he feels the need to be by himself in the outdoors and get away from society, which is the lecture. This poem also shows the transcendentalist belief that a connection with nature is superior. This is shown in the theme which is that nature is superior to education. The speaker gets more from experiencing nature than he gets from education. This is also shown as Whitman uses alliteration to describe the outdoors as, “mystical moist night-air” (7). Whitman uses this to emphasize that the speaker sees nature as perfect and magical while he sees the lecture as boring and useless. This is also contributed to by the anaphora of the word “when” at the beginning of the poem. This repetition makes the astronomer’s lecture seem useless and like he is just rambling on and on.

Transcendentalism is also shown in the poem, “Song of Myself”, by Walt Whitman. This poem includes the first and second premises of transcendentalism. The first premise, the power of the individual, is shown as Whitman says, “you shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me, you shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self” (37-38). He stresses that the reader needs to rely on their self. This is also an allusion to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Self-Reliance”, in which he discussed the need for relying on yourself instead of others. The second premise of transcendentalism, the universe duplicates the self, is shown as Whitman talks about his love and connection with nature. For example, he says, “the atmosphere is not a perfume, it has no taste of the distillation, it is odorless, it is for my mouth forever, I am in love with it” (18-19). This shows his connection with nature, similar to the connection that transcendentalists strive for.

All three poems exhibit characteristics of transcendentalism including the four premises. They all share a similar theme that nature is superior and a relationship with nature is necessary. The connection between nature and humans is shown in “A Noiseless, Patient Spider” as Whitman uses a metaphor to connect the way that a spider makes a web to the way his soul searches for something to grasp onto. In “When I Heard The Learn’d Astronomer”, this connection is shown as the speaker feels the power of experiencing nature first hand instead of listening to the astronomer. Finally, in “Song of Myself” the connection with nature is shown as Whitman describes his love for nature and the relationship he has with nature. He says that he is a part of nature and is in love with nature. These three poems all show the transcendentalist side of Walt Whitman through his language and themes.

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Walt Whitman’s Usage of Literary Devices in the Poem, a Noiseless Patient Spider

April 13, 2021 by Essay Writer

“A Noiseless Patient Spider” Explication

“A Noiseless Patient Spider” is a poem written by Walt Whitman emphasizing on those seeking meaning and goals by going out in the world to explore. Throughout this poem, alliteration, figurative language, and imagery are used as literary devices to portray the theme. The author conveys that patience and perseverance do not always act as stepping stones to achieve goals and to find oneself.

Whitman uses imagery in the first stanza to focus on the mood. The speaker describes, “A noiseless patient spider, / I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated”. This reveals that the spider is lonely as it stands away from everything else. The image of standing isolated creates a gloomy mood as the spider remains alienated from the rest of the world. These actions display the patience of the spider because despite how unloved and lonely it is, it continuously stays in the same area with no progress towards being accepted. Whitman also states, “launch’d forth filament…Ever wheeling them… tirelessly”. The spider’s actions come together to create a desperate mood as it is constantly attempting to expand its web to go out and explore the world. Nonetheless, its isolation constrains it from truly experiencing life, thus creating a desperate mood. Perseverance is shown through the activities of the spider because it is consistently trying to go past its limits.

Alliteration is used in the first stanza to cause readers to be attentive to the overall image being created. The speaker says, “it stood isolated, / Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding”. Whitman is using the alliteration of “v” to make readers focus on how isolated the spider is.The emphasis put on the two v’s causes readers to have more compassion and concern for the spider. The spider being solitary creates an empty image in the minds of the readers.This manifests patience because despite being ostracized, the spider still remains in the area waiting for change. Another example of alliteration is, “launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,/ Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly”. The alliteration of “F” gives a hiss-like noise, which is what a web shooting out would most likely sound like. The repetition of “E” shows how frequent the spider has tried to spin a web in its small area even though it does not reach its goals in trying to break free of isolation. This example portrays how much effort the spider always puts in, but never gets the same outcome.

In the second stanza, the author uses figurative language as a tool to give the work a deeper meaning. The speaker states, “and you O my soul where you stand, / Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space”. He introduces his soul in this stanza and begins to compare himself to the spider by using it as a metaphor. They are both standing in an empty area and just like the spider, readers can infer that the speaker not well liked and is lonely, which limits him from finding his identity. Then, the speaker continues by describing, “Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O, my/ soul”. This is a metaphor for all the speaker’s efforts that may or may not pay off someday. It ties the entire plot and meaning of the poem together as he shows that despite one’s best efforts, things may not reciprocate.

Although it is not explicitly stated, all the imagery, alliteration, and figurative language truly give readers the opportunity to come to the conclusion that the speaker is the spider. He speaks not only for himself, but for many others around the world as he pours his struggles out in hopes of finding his true identity. As the poem continues, the speaker fails to achieve his goal and identity. However, there are always goals met and unmet; there are always identities found and lost in the world. Perhaps it is the way things are meant to play out, so that greater things can happen.

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