Hopkins Festival Lectures 1987 - 2017

The Gerard Manley Hopkins Lecture Archive 2000

The Gerard Manley Hopkins Archive 2000 includes lectures on Gerard Manley Hopkins and Saint Augustine; his final words on child-bearing and creativitiy; the Czech environment; Eugenio Montale; German critical reception of Hopkins's poetry; Gerard Manley Hopkins with Heraclitus via Heidegger; Hopkins and the Reality of Christ's Resurrection; Spanish Translations of the Poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins; Hopkins and Pope, Blake, Swinbourne and even Yeats. You can also search the Hopkins archive for Lectures from other years.

Teh Hopkins Festival, very year during the last week of July, since 1987


Gerard Manley Hopkins and Saint Augustine

James Finn Cotter, Mount St. Mary College, Newburgh, New York

In an earlier essay, "Augustine's Confessions and The Wreck of the Deutschland," I traced the influence of The Confessions on Hopkins's ode, from the explicit reference to Augustine's conversion: "Or as Austin, a lingering-out sweet skill" (101, l. 78) to the deliberate echo in the lines: "Thou heardst me, truer than tongue, confess / Thy terror, O Christ, O God" (ll. 11-12).(1) The autobiography of the Bishop of Hippo, one of the poet's favorite books, was intended as a testimony to God's intervention in his life, an admission of his own sin and misdirection, and a hymn of praise to God's power and majesty in dealing with the human race. All these themes, as well as the imagery of storms and shipwreck, darkness and daybreak, altar, walls, tongue, winged heart, and the crucified and risen Christ, unite the two works in the scriptural and poetic traditions of Christian witness.

Read the rest of this Lecture on Gerard Manley Hopkins and Saint Augustine here

Gerard Manley Hopkins' Final Words on Childbearing and Creativity

Donatella Abbate Badin, University of Turin, ITALY

From Plato's Symposium onwards, the childbearing metaphor has been used as a paradigm of the poetic process and is to our day a common topos in world literature. Hopkins, in many of his metapoetical writings, addressed the issue of creativity accepting the relatively modern concept of human artistic creation although the word "creation" in its strict sense, only refers to God to whom all Creation pertains. ln his meditations on Loyola's Spiritual Exercises, Hopkins confronts the issue in a direct way:

Homo creatus est -- creation the making out of nothing, or bringing from nothing into being: once there was nothing, then lo, this huge world was there. How great a work of power!

Read more about themes of Childbearing and Creativity in Hopkins's poetry

Gerard Manley Hopkins and the Czech Environment

Ivana Bozdechova, Charles University, Prague, The Czech Republic

Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844 -1889), perhaps the most difficult and certainly one of the most original poets of the century, is still waiting for the broader recognition on the soil of Czech literature and culture in a sense that his spiritual message as well as formal (technical) creativity and inventions would become better known and more inspiring. My intent is to introduce some important facts and names from the Czech literary history which are or can be related to Hopkins either in terms of time co-existence or thematic affinity.

Read more about the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins in a Czech environment

Meeting points between English poet Gerard Manley Hopkins and Italian poet, Eugenio Montale

Lara Ferrini Italy

This paper examines the influence of Gerard Manley Hopkins on the 20th century Italian poet Eugenio Montale. It focuses on sound which is the meeting point between the two. Many examples are drawn from The Occasions / le Occasioni, particularly the section called Motets / i Motetti. It also analyzes the poem The Balcony / Il balcone which is the incipit of the book, but ideally belongs to the Motets section.Anyway I am here because I wrote poems, definitely useless goods, but almost never noxious - and that is one of their titles of nobility. But it is not the only one, poetry being a production and an endemic and incurable disease - Eugenio Montale. (1)

Read this Lecture comparing Gerard Manley Hopkins and Eugenio Montale

German Critical Reception of Hopkins's Poetry

Ewe Boker Germany

A year ago, in his lecture on 'Hopkins's European Mentors', Michael E. Allsopp strongly argued that the English poet should be in various respects related to the context of 19th century European literature. In order to understand more fully his artistic, intellectual and spiritual development as well as his progressive and traditionalist attitudes it is necessary, Allsopp maintained, to look into Hopkins's continental connections - August Wilhelm von Schlegel, Carl Wilhelm Friedrich von Schlegel, Carl Maria von Weber and Marie Lataste among them. The present paper provides, different from the former, an investigation into the German reception of Hopkins which began after the turn of the last century but culminated in the two decades after the Second World War. German intellectuals and writers were looking for the poetry they were not able to read during the Nazi era.
Gerard Manley Hopkins's poetry and its reception in Germany

Gerard Manley Hopkins with Heraclitus via Heidegger

Joanny Moulin, Université Michel de Montaigne-Bordeaux III, FRANCE

In his French translation of Gerard Manley Hopkins's poem "Henry Purcell" (Poèmes 153), Jean-Georges Ritz had chosen to solve the difficulty of rendering these two key-words in the last line, "meaning motion", by "l'élan voulu", which shifts the idea of "motion" towards that of momentum, and that of "meaning" towards desire. This necessary intrusion of creativity in the movement or removal of Hopkins's poem from one language to another made me ponder what exactly is the point of departure of inspiration, and what it is that literally actuates his writing in the first place. For, in many poems, and rather obviously in most of Hopkins's drawings, there seems indeed to be a fascination for movement, and more particularly for instances of movement when it is paradoxically instant, and contradicted. Representing the Material World: Hopkins and the Reality of Christ's Resurrection Brian Arkins, National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland

To illustrate how man is made immortal, Hopkins makes use of an analogy from the world of matter : through fire, matchwood becomes the charcoal of a burnt matchstick, and charcoal can be converted into diamond, the hardest substance known to the world.

Hopkins in Germany

Representing the Material World Hopkins and the Reality of Christ's Resurrection

Brian Arkins, National University of Ireland, Galway

Fire, in Heraclitus, is an agent of unending transformation in nature. Fire also forms the human soul, doomed to dissolve in water. But Christ's resurrection offers men a different kind of fire, a beacon, an eternal beam, which ensures that a Human Being will, in the life after death, share in the immortality of the Incarnate Christ. To illustrate how man is made immortal, Hopkins makes use of an analogy from the world of matter : through fire, matchwood becomes the charcoal of a burnt matchstick, and charcoal can be converted into diamond, the hardest substance known to the world. Conversely, a human being is a thing of shreds and has the potential to transcend death and become immortal, This Jack, poor potsherd, patch, matchwood, immortal diamond Is immortal diamond.

Read more about Hopkins and the reality of Christ's resurrection

Spanish Translations of the Poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins

Patrick Sheeran University of Valadolid, Spain

I would like to begin this talk by taking a brief look at the state of translations into Spanish of Gerard Manley Hopkins's poetry at the beginning of this new millenium. At the outset, I think it can be fairly said that Hopkins’s poetry with its advanced technique and startlingly new approach (which wasn’t so really new at all), ushered to an end a millenium of Anglo-Saxon poetry and pointed a way for writers who were willing to take the cue.

Spanish Translations of the Gerard Manley Hopkins Poetry here

Poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins compared to Victorians Pope, Blake, Swinbourne and even Yeats

Hugh Kenner Athens, Georgia, USA

What line of Hopkins first springs to mind? Why surely, it must be Glory be to God for dappled things ... (31) — which straightway collides with a dictum of Samuel Johnson's, for whom surface clutter portended trivial art. To be numbering the streaks of the tulip was not the poet's business; a poem derived its effects from the Grandeur of Generality. That way of thinking would be influential clear into the time of Hopkins, who thought otherwise.Look back now to a poet who died the year Johnson was 35: Alexander Pope, who is remembered for effects of two different kinds entirely, distinguished by custom in his time, and by inattention in ours, as Poetry and Satire. Here is Pope,the poet


Links to Hopkins Festival 2000 Lectures

St Augustine and Gerard Manley HopkinsCreativity in Hopkins WorldCzech Perspective on Hopkins PoetryEugenio Montale and Hopkisn PoetryGerman Perspective on Hopkins PoetryHeraclitus and Hopkins
GM Hopkins in Kildare
Hopkins and the ResurrectionSpansih Perspective on Hopkins PoetryGM Hopkins and his Translators