What unites the diversity of voices in Cahill's poems is a shared sense of isolation. These figures are often marginal, and through them Cahill examines the experiences of colonialism for the colonised people.
The Herring Lass is a fine collection of poems. It is assured and adventurous, with a pluralistic quality; Cahill is at home describing animal or people in sometimes wholly different registers. This confidence in a number of different voices and subjects speaks of a poet with great natural gifts. Overall, this is a collection of striking thematic unity, and Cahill boldly executes her vision.