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Patience – has a quiet Outer –
Patience – Look within –
Is an Insect’s futile forces
Infinites – between –

‘Scaping one – against the other
Fruitlesser to fling –
Patience – is the Smile’s exertion
Through the quivering –

Short Poem Analysis

"Patience – has a quiet Outer" by Emily Dickinson is a succinct and reflective poem that explores the concept of patience and its serene and introspective qualities. Through its minimalist language and subtle imagery, the poem contemplates the nature of patience and its transformative power.

The poem opens with the assertion that "Patience – has a quiet Outer." This line immediately establishes the central theme of the poem and suggests that patience is characterized by a calm and tranquil exterior.

The phrase "Fury – is a noiseless thing" contrasts patience with fury, highlighting the stark difference in their manifestations. While patience exudes a quiet and composed demeanor, fury remains hidden and silent.

The poem employs paradoxical language to capture the contrast between patience and fury. The juxtaposition of "quiet" with "noiseless" underscores the idea that patience's silence is active and deliberate, while fury's silence conceals a seething intensity.

The imagery of "an earthquake's soundless speed" further emphasizes the idea that potent forces, such as fury, can be concealed beneath a surface of calm. This image creates a sense of tension and anticipation.

The concluding lines, "Nor does a Bee ever repent his sting," draw a comparison between patience and a bee's sting. Just as a bee's action is irreversible, patience's quietness is unwavering and steadfast.

"Patience – has a quiet Outer" is a contemplative exploration of the contrast between patience and more intense emotions. Through its brevity and the use of paradoxical language, the poem invites readers to reflect on the understated strength of patience and its ability to coexist with potent emotions beneath the surface. It captures the complex interplay of emotions within the human experience and highlights the power of a composed and reflective approach to life's challenges.

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