I had the pleasure of sitting down with local San Antonio poet, Rohn Bayes. We talked about Whitman's great, short poem "A Noiseless Patient Spider," and how its metaphor "takes you places." That, after all, is the etymology of metaphor--to take you some where. This particular metaphor is special to poets, writers, and creators of all sorts. Anyone who has every created "filament, filament, filament!" can sympathize with the meaning of this poem. Stay tuned till the end for a special performance of an unread poem by Rohn Bayes.
A Noiseless Patient Spider
BY WALT WHITMAN
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 hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.