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A Noiseless, Patient Spider

A classic poem by American poet Walt Whitman. I’ve loved this ever since first-year English. Although published in 1891, long before the advent of the computer age, it strikes me as a beautiful metaphor for the Internet.

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 releasing 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.