Publication details [#14197]

Marland, Pippa. 2018. “My Cries Heave, Herds-long”: Metaphor, Posthumanism and Gerard Manley Hopkins’ ‘No Worst, There Is None’. Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses 77 : 221–238. 18 pp.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Universidad de La Laguna


Based on the tight imagery appearing in the lines “my cries heave herds-long, huddle in a main, a chief/ Woe, world sorrow; on an age-old anvil wince and sing - / Then lull, then leave off” (Gerard Manley Hopkins’ Terrible Sonnets), this paper examines the permeability and mess of the human being, the animal and also the prosthetic within Hopkins' poem 'No worst there is none'. It is argued that the author's use of figurative language, first, involves a significant 'decreation' which allows us to interrogate the human, and second, it prefigures a deep posthumanist comprehension of our interweaving in earth's matrix. This paper draws on the burgeoning framework of ecomaterialism, since the world is thought as a “densely intertwined and improvisational tissue of experience” (Abram). In addition, it deals with the recognition of the agency of all matter, understood as the more-than-human voice, which approaches a notion of the metaphorical for our period, showing the potential of metaphor in order to examine relational ontology and also to improve our understanding of natura agens and natura loquens.