Christopher Smart

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Neil Curry
978-0-7463-1014-4

This book demonstrates that Christopher Smart is our finest and our most important religious poet between Herbert and Hopkins.

Description: Christopher Smart (1722-1771) is popularly known for having written his exuberant lyric A Song to David and the cryptic Jubilate Agno while locked away in a madhouse, then ending his days in a debtors’ jail, but this close and sensitive study shows him to be our finest and our most important religious poet between Herbert and Hopkins. Smart is also a pivotal figure in eighteenth century poetry in that while his early work has echoes of Milton, his final poems, Songs for the Amusement of Children, with their simplicity and their woodcuts, clearly anticipate Blake’s Songs of Innocence. Central to Smart’s work is the line in Jubilate Agno ‘For by the grace of God I am the reviver of adoration among English-men’. In contrast to the grimness of much evangelical writing and despite his own personal hardships, Smart is seen here as a poet of adoration and of joy.

 

… compact and informative…a clear synopsis of Smart’s work and a summary of important scholarship about it

                     Temenos Academy Review

 

Author: Curry, Neil

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