Anyone (The Gossamer Sphere)

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In this poem we begin with a spider and end with a soul, but as we read it, we feel and sense an intimate connection between the two. As the spider flings his gossamer, so the soul flings itself, and as the spider attempts to bridge and connect his weavings so does the soul attempt to bridge itself with others and with life. We begin very simply with a simple spider, but at the close we are exposed to the deepest longings of the human soul in its attempt to connect and produce meaning. Whitman did not choose the words quiet or silent, because quiet conveys the sense of low volume and silent seems to convey a temporal quiet.

The spider was completely silent, maybe eternally silent, and that is why he chose noiseless.


It truly seems as if the soul is detached from Whitman and is launching itself on its own accord, because it has to, because the soul is something that cannot be restrained or controlled. Both stanzas in the poem are five lines long and one sentence each, and therefore, the sentences are complex and filled with clauses.

I do not believe the poem would have the same effect it does if it were broken with any more periods.

It’s not ultralight—but it will do

It has a wonderful flow that is somewhat swift and would not work if it was paused with periods. The poem matches the way in which the words are laid on the page. For example, the first two lines of both stanzas are somewhat choppy and slow and both lines are relatively short in comparison with the others. But the poem seems to pick up speed in the last three lines of both stanzas and the clauses are constructed accordingly.

The images of this poem are many, but since the poem is so concise, they are all important. First of all, the choice of the spider was necessary, for there is no other animal that would fit the description of connection, creation, and the launching of itself as does the spider.

We also notice that the spider is isolated on a promontory; it is the master of its domain and possesses very human qualities with its patience and exploration. Though we know the reason a spider spins his web, the poem seems to present to us the idea of selflessness in the spider, for he is launching all this gossamer out of itself and it is always unreeling it and connecting it, as if it were an irreplaceable job.

anyone the gossamer sphere Manual

The soul is near to all of these high spider ideals, but also possesses much more and has a more important job. The image of the soul standing in boundless seas of space is romantic, but we also see the image of selfless work, much like the spider, as the soul attempts to build a bridge to something or someone that we are never literally told. We also see the soul flinging itself all over like the spider until he catches somewhere. As I mentioned earlier, we are given a wonderful resolve by the rhyme scheme of the last two lines. The last two lines remind me of a strong heroic couplet that complete a Shakespearian sonnet.

It is very interesting to note that the soul achieves what is spoken of it in the poem, for we feel connected and part of it at the close, or that we are the poet and the soul is our very own. Although we are never actually told what the soul is trying to bridge, I believe it is the chasms between humanity and the abyss we have with one another.

The Gossamer Sphere Series

Sometimes there is no greater feeling in all the world than when one person truly understands you, when one friend truly connects with you. The poem gives us hope that our souls are always attempting to connect, that if we are willing, a bridge may always exist that spans hatred and intolerance; that prejudice can never defeat the will of the human soul. The game takes place on a hard table divided by a net. Except for the initial serve, the rules are generally as follows: players must allow a ball played toward them to bounce one time on their side of the table, and must return it so that it bounces on the opposite side at least once.

A point is scored when a player fails to return the ball within the rules. Play is fast and demands quick reactions. Spinning the ball alters its trajectory and limits an opponent's options, giving the hitter a great advantage.

ITTF currently includes member associations. From until , these were men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles and women's doubles. Since , a team event has been played instead of the doubles. The sport originated in Victorian England, where it was played among the upper-class as an after-dinner parlour game.

The name "ping-pong" was in wide use before British manufacturer J. The name "ping-pong" then came to describe the game played using the rather expensive Jaques's equipment, with other manufacturers calling it table tennis. A similar situation arose in the United States, where Jaques sold the rights to the "ping-pong" name to Parker Brothers. Parker Brothers then enforced its trademark for the term in the s making the various associations change their names to "table tennis" instead of the more common, but trademarked, term.

The next major innovation was by James W. Gibb, a British enthusiast of table tennis, who discovered novelty celluloid balls on a trip to the US in and found them to be ideal for the game. This was followed by E. Goode who, in , invented the modern version of the racket by fixing a sheet of pimpled, or stippled, rubber to the wooden blade. Table tennis was growing in popularity by to the extent that tournaments were being organized, books being written on the subject, [7] and an unofficial world championship was held in In the s, paddles that used a rubber sheet combined with an underlying sponge layer changed the game dramatically, [1] introducing greater spin and speed.

Hancock Ltd. The use of speed glue increased the spin and speed even further, resulting in changes to the equipment to "slow the game down". Table tennis was introduced as an Olympic sport at the Olympics in After the Olympics in Sydney , the ITTF instituted several rule changes that were aimed at making table tennis more viable as a televised spectator sport. By that time, players had begun increasing the thickness of the fast sponge layer on their paddles, which made the game excessively fast and difficult to watch on television.

A few months later, the ITTF changed from a point to an point scoring system and the serve rotation was reduced from five points to two , effective in September The ITTF also changed the rules on service to prevent a player from hiding the ball during service, in order to increase the average length of rallies and to reduce the server's advantage, effective in The international rules specify that the game is played with a sphere having a mass of 2.

Balls are now made of a polymer instead of celluloid as of , colored white or orange, with a matte finish. The choice of ball color is made according to the table color and its surroundings. For example, a white ball is easier to see on a green or blue table than it is on a grey table. Manufacturers often indicate the quality of the ball with a star rating system, usually from one to three, three being the highest grade. As this system is not standard across manufacturers, the only way a ball may be used in official competition is upon ITTF approval [23] the ITTF approval can be seen printed on the ball.

Then World No 1 table tennis professional Vladimir Samsonov threatened to pull out of the World Cup, which was scheduled to debut the new regulation ball on October 12, The table is 2. The ITTF approves only wooden tables or their derivates. Concrete tables with a steel net or a solid concrete partition are sometimes available in outside public spaces, such as parks. Players are equipped with a laminated wooden racket covered with rubber on one or two sides depending on the grip of the player.

The wooden portion of the racket, often referred to as the "blade", commonly features anywhere between one and seven plies of wood, though cork, glass fiber, carbon fiber, aluminum fiber, and Kevlar are sometimes used. The average size of the blade is about 17 centimetres 6. Table tennis regulations allow different surfaces on each side of the racket. For example, a player may have a rubber that provides much spin on one side of their racket, and one that provides no spin on the other.

By flipping the racket in play, different types of returns are possible. To help a player distinguish between the rubber used by his opposing player, international rules specify that one side must be red while the other side must be black. Despite high speed play and rapid exchanges, a player can see clearly what side of the racket was used to hit the ball.

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Current rules state that, unless damaged in play, the racket cannot be exchanged for another racket at any time during a match. According to ITTF rule 2. The correct or incorrect guess gives the "winner" the option to choose to serve, receive, or to choose which side of the table to use.

A common but non-sanctioned method is for the players to play the ball back and forth three times and then play out the point.


This is commonly referred to as "serve to play", "rally to serve", "play for serve", or "volley for serve". In game play, the player serving the ball commences a play. In casual games, many players do not toss the ball upward; however, this is technically illegal and can give the serving player an unfair advantage.

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The ball must remain behind the endline and above the upper surface of the table, known as the playing surface, at all times during the service. If the umpire is doubtful of the legality of a service they may first interrupt play and give a warning to the server. If the serve is a clear failure or is doubted again by the umpire after the warning, the receiver scores a point. If the service is "good", then the receiver must make a "good" return by hitting the ball back before it bounces a second time on receiver's side of the table so that the ball passes the net and touches the opponent's court, either directly or after touching the net assembly.

Returning the serve is one of the most difficult parts of the game, as the server's first move is often the least predictable and thus most advantageous shot due to the numerous spin and speed choices at his or her disposal. A Let is a rally of which the result is not scored, and is called in the following circumstances: [37].

A let is also called foul service, if the ball hits the server's side of the table, if the ball does not pass further than the edge and if the ball hits the table edge and hits the net. A point is scored by the player for any of several results of the rally: [38].