Study Guide

Carrion Comfort Perseverance

By Gerard Manley Hopkins

Perseverance

"Carrion Comfort" offers up a classic good news/bad news scenario for its speaker. The bad news? He's got to suffer through an intense, prolonged crisis of despair and depression. The good? He'll live. When survival is the good news, you know things are bad. At the same time, though, the speaker is stronger for having made it through his experience. His perseverance, really, gives him both the ability to make it through to the other side of his depression, as well as the opportunity to be transformed into a better version of his old self. It's a classic case of silver lining syndrome.

Questions About Perseverance

  1. What is the key to the speaker's perseverance? What parts of the poem give you your idea?
  2. What parts of the poem, if any, make you doubt the speaker's ability to persevere through his depression?
  3. How inspiring is the speaker's perseverance to you personally? What parts of the poem lead you to your answer?

Chew on This

The real message of this poem is that there is no secret trick to persevering. You just have to go on living, day by day.

This poem shows us that perseverance is a totally personal and ingrained quality. Either you're tough enough to endure life's hardships, or you're not.