Here E.B. White (1899-1985) writes a poem in a letter to Katherine, depicting a spider’s spinning a thread-ladder to find its way back, as he will find his way back to her.

Source: E.B. White, letter to Katherine from King Edward Hotel, Toronto

Photo credit: Erwan Hesry,


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The spider, dropping down from a twig,

Unwinds a thread of her devising:

A thin, premeditated rig

To use in rising.


And all the journey down through space,

In cool descent, and loyal-hearted,

She builds a ladder to the place

From which she started.


Thus I, gone forth, as spiders do,

In spider’s web a truth discerning,

Attach one silken strand to you

For my returning.

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