How, for instance, had I never heard of Christopher Smart? Smart was an where he wrote one of his more enduring works, Jubilate Agno. Christopher Smart, “on his cat Jeoffrey” from Jubilate Agno (), lns. For I will consider my Cat Jeoffrey For he is the servant of the Living God duly. On Christopher Smart’s “Jubilate Agno, Fragment B”. by Meghan O’Rourke. I always think of the “tesseract” in A Wrinkle in Time when I consider the power of a .

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Christopher Smart Loved His Cat

Encountering it one feels as one does encountering a powerful piece of outsider art. Corbis By today, if you’re anything like me, you’re sick to the back teeth of Christmas cheer and the relentlessly tinselly schedules of the BBC.

For he rolls upon prank to work it in.

For he killed the Icneumon rat, very pernicious by land. The poem was first published inunder the title Rejoice in the Lamb: Certain poems, I often think, are tesseracts—so singular that they seem to exist in multiple times at once, transporting us outside our own interiority, our era, our personal history.

Just as he was starting to make a name for himself as xmart poet, and had become friends with leading literary contemporaries such as Samuel Johnson, he was overcome with religious mania.

Interested in this world — the material, the everyday, his cat — his own senses lead him on a journey of spiritual discovery. Cbristopher collapsed expanded unthreaded. Foucault in Madness and Civilization examines the relationship between passion and enthusiasm and madness. For what would a cat be if he were not capable of stealth! Or, at least, I’m told that the programme-makers are “almost certain” that the remains of Smart’s poem have never been broadcast before in their entirety since they were rediscovered in For me, the poem builds amazingly to that last, short, declarative line, “For he can creep.


His poems let loose a portion of the imagination which christophsr age of reason makes a point of keeping fettered with social norms and conventional religion; in this way his raptures are related to the scenes of redemptive or escapest madness we see in the literature of Sensibility: Stead from Smart’s manuscript, which Stead had discovered in a private library.

Put in its simplest and driest terms, this long poem is a hymn of praise to God for all the wonders of the natural world, using the antiphonal patterns of Hebrew poetry, with hundreds and hundreds of phrases beginning with “Let”, answered by corresponding verses beginning with “For”.

Although the original manuscript divided the “Let” and “For” verses onto opposing sides of the manuscript, Karina Williams claims that “Dr W. For this he performs in ten degrees.

For sixthly he rolls upon wash. Christopher Smart, who was tossed in the madhouse for his iubilate praying in the street, for the most partconstantly asks what creativity is, what rationality and irrationality are.

For he can creep. Clarissa’s mad letters after the rape and the lunatic picking flowers in Werther. Many critics have focused on the unique language of Jubilate Agno. For the flute rhimes are tooth youth suit mute and the like. For tenthly he goes in quest of food. Those in the series beginning with the word “Let,” associated names of human beings, mainly biblical, with various natural objects; and those beginning with the word “For” are a series of smrat verses.

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For this he performs in ten degrees. In Their Own Words.

For I will consider Jubilate Agno

For fourthly he sharpens his paws by wood. The problem with Newtonian physics jubilaate to Smart, Harriet Guest argues, is that “it is not based on the principles of revelation: For there are stones, whose constituent particles are little toads. For the harp rhimes are sing ring string and the like.

During this time, Smart smarrt left alone, except for his cat Jeoffry and the occasional gawker. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. For tenthly he goes in quest of food. For there is the thunder-stop, which is the voice of God direct. Retrieved from ” https: