Synopsis of No Worst, There is None

At the bottom of the pit

This is one of the ‘terrible sonnets', written in Ireland, probably in 1885. It is similar to Carrion Comfort in Hopkins' bleakness and inability to find comfort (or consolation) in his Christian devotion and service. In fact, it appears written by someone on the edge of a complete mental breakdown. There is a spiritual state called the dark night (of the soul), with similar symptoms but which is spiritual rather than mental or nervous (see Spelt from Sibyl's Leaves). However, the references to Hopkins' mental landscape in the sestet suggest this sonnet may, in fact, be more about breakdown than anything else.

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