Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday Excerpt: Measureless Oceans of Space

Now Playing: Sigur Rós - Sæglópur (Sense8 soundtrack)


Another poem today.

Though I'd both heard of and read some of Whitman in my early education, I only really read a good chunk of his work whilst taking an American literature class in Spring semester of 2014. That was also the year that I began writing Millennium Girl.

Whitman's poetry--and, specifically, this poem and one other--is featured in my book. I can't remember if he's Lilith's favorite poet (I don't even know if she has a favorite poet), but I do know she loves this particular poem enough to memorize it. And I share that love of it too.

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 Noiseless Patient Spider by Walt Whitman

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"Science and science fiction have done a kind of dance over the last century... The scientists make a finding. It inspires science fiction writers to write about it, and a host of young people read the science fiction and are excited, and inspired to become scientists...which they do, which then feeds again into another generation of science fiction and science..."
- Carl Sagan, in his message to future explorers of Mars.