Themes in Patience, Hard Thing!

Suffering and faith

Although the dark night experience is implicit here, it is not referred to directly. What is focused on is the difficulty of achieving one of the more straightforward Christian virtues, when, in fact, suffering is meant to bring it about. So there is a sort of paradox: without patience, it is difficult to bear inner angst; yet without suffering of some sort, patience does not develop. The ideal of the patient man, described in the last three lines, seems an almost unattainable one.

Investigating Patience
  • Do you sense any sort of hope in Hopkins that he will achieve patience?
  • Do you see another possible theme in Serving God?
    • Is there enough material in the poem for this?
Related material
Scan and go

Scan on your mobile for direct link.