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A Noiseless Patient Spider

A Noiseless Patient Spider

by Walt Whitman

Man and the Natural World Quotes Page 2

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

"you O my soul where you stand" (line 6)

Things get a little bit trickier here. We see Whitman change gears, and talk about something new. This soul is a part of him, not outside in nature, like the spider. But, does he act like he’s talking to himself? In some ways, his soul seems just as foreign – almost harder to understand than a spider. He really tries to blur the lines between inside and outside, me and you, human and animal.

Quote #5

"the gossamer thread you fling" (line 10)

By this point, we already know that Whitman thinks his soul is like a spider. But, here’s where he really comes out with it. He takes a human thing (the soul) and combines it with a spider thing (gossamer thread). The fact that he does this in the last line lets us know that the idea of combining human and natural themes is a central point of the poem.

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