Writing Guidelines: Literary Prompt
Review the PAST strategy with your students, and then present them with the following prompt to read and analyze:
Read "A Noiseless, Patient Spider" by American poet Walt Whitman. What comparison is he drawing? What points of comparison does he make? Write a literary analysis of this poem, reflecting on the comparison, poetic techniques used by Whitman, and the overall theme of the poem. Make the poem come alive for other readers.
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, surrounded, 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.
- Purpose: To analyze and reflect
- Audience: Other readers
- Subject: The comparison, poetic techniques, and theme of "A Noiseless, Patient Spider"
- Type: Literary analysis
Present the material on the rest of the page. Then let your students practice responding to this literary prompt. Give them a time limit and have them write responses.
Afterward, distribute the revising and editing checklist, which students can use for a self-assessment of their responses.