Joseph Feeney, S.J., Coordinates First Russian Translation of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ Poems

Monday, March 12, 2018

by Jennifer Nessel '19

Father Joseph Feeney, professor emeritus of English, has helped to develop the first ever Russian translation of Gerard Manley Hopkins / Selected Poems, published by Vodolei Press of Moscow, under the editorship of Valery Votrin.

An internationally known Hopkins scholar, Fr. Feeney contributed to the work and wrote its introduction after its editor, Votrin, a Russian by birth and an environmentalist, novelist and translator residing in England, expressed interest in translating the work into Russian. He also helped secure donors from four Jesuit universities who contributed funds for the publication costs.

“Hopkins was a deeply committed Jesuit for all his life, and his readers will, through such poems as ‘God’s Grandeur’ and ‘Pied Beauty,’ understand key aspects of a Jesuit’s approach to God,” says Fr. Feeney, co-editor of The Hopkins Quarterly.

“I believe that Hopkins’ poetry will bring the joy of beauty, supreme art and talent to the new Russian audience,” he adds. “These, along with a greater contact with God, the Catholic Church and the Jesuit Order are reasons why I believe it is important for the work to be translated into Russian.”

Gerard Manley Hopkins, an English Jesuit priest who lived from 1844-1889, is recognized as one of the ten finest poets in the English language. Hopkins’ work has been translated into several languages, but never before into Russian.

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