A Noiseless Patient Spider
Man and the Natural World Quotes
How we cite our quotes:
"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.
"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.