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Seeking purpose in poetry

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 hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.

A poem by Walt Whitman that describes the purpose-seeking self as an isolated spider building a web. Launching itself into the unknown "til the ductile anchor hold," til some measure of purpose or meaning is attained. Whitman describes this purpose as ductile and flexible, yet strong, an anchor to hold one steady in the face of the boundless universe.