Hopkins' rhetoric: Between the material and the transcendent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article addresses the problem of the 'inscription' of religious meaning within the poetic descriptions of the material world and existential experience; it analyses this problem with reference to the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins. The article begins with a brief review of Hopkins' poetic goals, and then turns to the interrelations between the thematic and rhetorical concerns in his writings. As a first step, it analyses Hopkins''metaphors with double referential field' that partly bridge the gap between the material and the transcendent. It also shows that many of Hopkins' poems are structured as 'macro-metaphors' of a special type, which is often designated as 'diaphora'. After the analysis of metaphors, the article turns to other rhetorical strategies used by Hopkins, which create multiple internal relations between heterogeneous elements of his poetic world and thus imitate the unifying function of divine presence. Finally, the article analyses Hopkins' rhetoric of temporality. It shows that Hopkins' rhetoric of 'nowness' creates the poetic space that is situated beyond empirical time: halfway between the temporal and the eternal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-115
Number of pages17
JournalLanguage and Literature
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2003


  • Diaphora
  • Double referential field
  • Enactment of semantic unity
  • Hopkins, Gerard Manley
  • Metaphor
  • Rhetoric of 'nowness'
  • Rhetoric of the divine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


Dive into the research topics of 'Hopkins' rhetoric: Between the material and the transcendent'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this