Sunday, May 31, 2009

"A Noiseless Patient Spider" by Walt Whitman, My nomination for The Official Internet Poem

Since Walt Whitman was born on this day in 1819, I thought it only appropriate to suggest that his poem, "A Noiseless Patient Spider," be named the Official Internet Poem. I think that if you read it, you will see why it is the poem for the inhabitants of cyberspace. Can there be another poem that expresses what so many of us do on the Internet?

A Noiseless Patient Spider

A NOISELESS patient spider,
I mark'd where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark'd how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launch'd forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.

And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to
connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be form'd, till the ductile anchor
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.

- Walt Whitman -

Comments, anyone?

Any other nominations?


  1. Many on the internet want to connect. However, some just want to put their opinions out there, making it a cyberspace pulpit. These are the ones who don't necessarily want to connect and form friendships with people. They just want their opinions affirmed. I find them tiring.

  2. Cheryl,

    No argument there.

    I think we all have something to say: some are here merely to preach, as you say, and aren't interested in listening to anyone else, and, on the other hand, many others who would be very happy to make connections.

    The difficult part is making those connections--all those filaments going out into cyberspace, looking for something or someone to link up to.

  3. From the perspective of a spider who, while not necessarily creating the web, but is able to traverse it, I call the poem very suitable.

    Some of the flotsam we come across, such as Cheryl alludes to, are the dead flies in the web. And inedible ones at that.

  4. Soren,

    Yes, one can find inedible flies in the web, and what's worse, even some poisonous stuff out there too.