A Noiseless Patient Spider Thesis

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Organic structure is easily discernable in Whitman's products, where the forms are innovative.

Whitman's poems do not follow established patterns in their composition, nor do the beginnings create rigid molds which would bind their own nether parts.

"The freshness of a poem," Frost believed, "belongs absolutely to its not having been thought out and then set to verse" (Symbol 26).

In doing so would bind the poet to a fatal compromise, one analogous to composing music to accommodate a pre-selected set of lyrics. Middle Form, in accordance, would be derived from inspiration.

I thank Larry Mitchell, head of the English department at Texas A&M, Dean Charles Johnson and Associate Deans Larry Oliver and Ben Crouch of the College of Liberal Arts, and James Rosenheim of the Glasscock Center for Humanities Research for providing crucial support, both moral and monetary.

I thank my daughter, Myrth Killingsworth, an ecocritic in her own right, for being my writing companion throughout the process.Acknowledgments This book seeks a double audience of ecocritics and Whitman scholars, a goal that has required me to draw upon the resources of a wide and generous community.An anonymous reviewer at the University of Iowa Press and my own energetic students and colleagues in the study of American nature writing and environmental rhetoric have provided the impetus and good suggestions I needed to apply the new perspective and methods of ecological criticism to Whitman’s poetry for the first time in a book-length work.My graduate students at Texas A&M provided readings and assistance throughout the project.I owe special appreciation to Soojin Ahn, Lynda Ely, Georgina Kennedy, Steve Marsden, Paul Mc Cann, Amy Montz, Dave Pruett, Matt Sherwood, and Lindsay Sloan.The effect of juxtaposition creates a relationship between the spider and the speaker's soul as both are portrayed as "isolated" and surrounded by the immensity of their worlds that they seem insignificant, minuscule.Correspondingly, both are driven to explore and make "connection" with the worlds in which they live: the spider by casting his web endlessly till "[it] catch[es] somewhere" (Noiseless 10), and the speaker by "musing, venturing, throwing, seeking"(8), a purpose in life. Conclusion Although the poem contains an air of egocentrism, it doesn't detract from the theme, but rather reinforces it.As for Whitman studies, I have been very lucky in having the attentive guidance of the two leading scholars alive today—the editor of the Whitman Series at Iowa, Ed Folsom, and my dear colleague Whitman biographer Jerome Loving, both of whom read drafts at every stage of the work and gave good suggestions and strong encouragement. Holly Carver of the University of Iowa Press joined Ed Folsom in encouraging me to submit my manuscript, for which I thank her.Sherry Ceniza and the students in her Whitman seminar at Texas Tech also read early chapter drafts and discussed the work with me.Diction remains simple and relatively to the point, with some words that exhibit the poem's tone; however it is the incessant use of the word "I" that draws on this solipsistic quality of which Whitman is confirming his immortality.It is his "stuff to start sons and daughters" that will enable his longevity into the next generation and beyond.


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