Study Guide

A Noiseless Patient Spider Calling Card

By Walt Whitman

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Calling Card

Free, Wild, and Personal

Whitman’s poems almost always burst with excitement and curiosity about the world. That’s not to say that they are happy, but you can usually recognize his infectious energy. This energy spills over and creates an unconventional poetic style that is not too interested in rhyme, meter, and traditional forms.

The poems, like this one, tend too be really personal too. He almost always deals with himself in some way: his own experiences, his mind, his soul, and the ways that they relate to the rest of the world. "Patient Spider" also has a few other classic Whitman themes – he likes nature, and he has a spiritual, but not really a religious, side. He also loves big, fearless moves, like the way he shoots from a tiny example to a really huge idea in this poem. That’s a classic Whitman touch.

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