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TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Justin Moore
  • Director Jeremiah Dickey, Lisa LaBracio, Biljana Labovic
  • Narrator Rives, Mahogany Browne, Joanna Hoffman


Additional Resources for you to Explore
A Noiseless Patient Spider
BY Walt Whitman

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.

Walt Whitman, one of the most renowned American poets, became famous for his “Leaves of Grass,” visit this site to read from this now famous collection. The Walt Whitman archive has more of his writings available for you to investigate.

Find that analyzing poetry can be a challenging task? Read this document that gives directions and ideas on how to decipher the meaning behind any poem. Do you find literary devices like the ones used by Whitman in “A Noiseless Patient Spider,” confusing? Do the words alliteration, assonance, metaphors and imagery confound you? This definition list containing literary devices will help.

What do an Apple commercial and Walt Whitman have in common? Ever hear the quote.” What will your verse be?” It was written by Walt Whitman in the 1800’s and titled: O me! O Life. What does it mean to you? Whitman’s O Captain! My Captain about Abraham Lincoln has proven to be one of his most famous and often recited poems. Visit the Library of Congress site to see the original manuscript and find out more about this specific poem and other collections of the Whitman’s writings. Click here for an analysis of O Captain! My Captain.

Love poetry and looking for more? Start by checking out these TED Talks: Why people need poetry?, Everyday moments caught in time, If I should have a daughter…, and High School Training Ground. Still seeking more poetry to connect to? There are about 39 more TED Talks on the topic, click here and start getting inspired.