The spider as an artist - Analysis of an Emily dickinson poem

"The beautiful night is lit by stars and only the loved ones who are awake can see." - Guru Arjan

Here is a poem by one of my favorite teachers, Emily Dickinson:

The spider as an artist
Has never been employed
Though his surpassing merit
Is freely certified

By every broom and Bridget
Throughout a Christian land.
Neglected son of genius,
I take thee by the hand.

The spider is an artist, a creator. He makes this intricate web. The web is symmetrical and beautiful. Often we don't even see what he is doing. We do not notice. It is when we have to clean the web with our brooms that we get to know he has weaved his web. It is the exalted design, the bridget, he leaves behind that he is known by.

No one pays the spider. He is not employed. The spider works on his own will. It is a creation of love.

The spider is often neglected. Not liked. No one is grateful for his work even in Emily's Christian land. His genius is not realized. But he is the son of genius -- akin to the son of God. Loving, weaving, creating.

Emily not only accepts the spider's genius, she wants to take his exalted being by the hand. There is a marriage of the creator and the lover of creation, a coming together of the genius and the grateful.

Emily notices. Emily is awake.


  1. I've had a spider living in the kitchen for the past six months now and have fallen completely in love with this mute Master. Lovely to stumble upon this gem from Emily.