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Study Questions

A Noiseless Patient Spider Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. Do you have a sense of what the speaker talks about in the last few lines, like when he mentions "seeking the spheres to connect them?" Does it create a visual picture in your head? Is it something you could describe, or is it more mysterious than that?
  2. Have you ever compared a part of your life to an animal’s, like Whitman does? When you see a dog or a cat, for example, do their actions remind you of the way humans act or think?
  3. Do you enjoy Whitman’s style? Do you miss the rhythm and the rhyme, or is this more freewheeling form exciting and moving for you?
  4. If the speaker says something about his soul, do you think he learns it from the spider? Or is this just a convenient way of explaining something he already knows? Put another way: do you feel like there’s a sense of discovery in this poem?

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