In The Flash Season 3, there are a couple of episodes (such as 3x06 "Shade" and 3x11 "Dead or Alive") where H.R. and later Cisco have said a rhyme that goes like this:

"If a string is in a knot, patience will untie it. Patience can do lots of things, have you ever tried it?"

Is this a reference to something? Unfortunately, searching online only turns up irrelevant results or copies of the show quote for me.

  • I wonder if this is just supposed to be a "look at how deep our writing is" quotes if you cannot find it elsewhere. Other than that just a general metaphor for having patience.
    – Tablemaker
    Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 19:53
  • It does take patience to untie a knot... I don't know that it's really that deep of a metaphor.
    – Catija
    Commented Feb 22, 2017 at 20:06
  • 1
    @Thunderforge, the poem appears on page 378 of THE INTERNATIONAL GOOD TEMPLAR volume 6, published in 1893. Full-text scan at Google Books: books.google.com/books?id=9UA2AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA378 Commented Nov 29, 2018 at 11:30

1 Answer 1


This might be a nursery rhyme called Patience by Anna Maria Pratt. Pratt was a teacher for several years in Cleveland, Ohio. Her focus was on children's literature, and she published Little Rhymes for Little People in 1896.


If a string is in a knot,

Patience will untie it.

Patience can do many things—

Did you ever try it?

If it was sold at any shop

I should like to buy it.

But you and I must find our own—

No other can supply it.

--Anna M. Pratt

  • What is your source for this quote? I tried finding this poem online and they all seemed to be random user websites, with a surprising number of them posting this poem in 2017 after the Flash episode aired. If an authoritative source could be found, I'd be happy to upvote and accept this answer. Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 2:47
  • 3
    I can't comment on Mary's answer due to being new, but they're right. The Internet Archive has a scan of Little Rhymes for Little People, and the poem can be found on page 34 under the title "A Useful Possession".
    – Neal Cruco
    Commented Nov 29, 2018 at 20:58

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