Mar 15, 2011

Christopher Smart, "Jubilate Agno"

The Clown, Georges Rouault, around 1907, D.I.A.

Jubilate Agno, Fragment B, [For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry]- - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More

I'm posting this today only to set up Edward Hirsch's fine poem about Christopher Smart tomorrow or soon. I hope you'll also read or at least skim the biographical note on Smart, as well as the poem.

Remember, Charlie Sheen started all this. It would never be my fault . . . . I do hope some readers admire the sympathetic but candid portrait of madness in Hirsch's "Christopher Smart," coming soon.


Jeff M said...

Hey Banjo!
You provide many links to poets and their works. How 'bout you ask some of your readers to submit poems and/ or essays? I think that would be pretty cool. Even pictures. What do you think?

Jean Spitzer said...

This reminds me of the recent-ish movie, Seraphine, about the artist, Seraphine Louis.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

you first Jeff

I did notice that the clown, woman and bird are looking in the same general direction. Perhaps at a cat? I have a feeling this so called direction is going to look poorly upon "cat people"

Then again, what do I know? I'm a potato bug

Banjo52 said...

Jeff, that suits me. Logistics? Send me the link? I'm less sure about the photo, re: how to post it, but I'm willing to try it.

Remember, I am one of those who frets about copyright, so I'll post only links unless the piece is in public domain. (I think that means 75 years old).

PA, nothing against cat people. I see the mystery, though it's true I prefer dogs, birds, and horses. Good point on the direction thing. I think it's more coincidence than anything, but who knows about Mr. Unconscious?

Brenda's Arizona said...

What a poem!!
The 10 'movements' are excellent. I will have to remember these...
English cats are the best in Europe? Who voted?
What does "Julibate Agno" mean? Is it Latin? hmmm. research required here.

Banjo52 said...

Jean's recommendation above looks extremely promising. Based on Wiki, it sounds as if Seraphine and Christopher Smart are two sides of a coin.

Brenda, I apologize AGAIN for taking so long to post your comments. Gmail is erratic to say the least.

According to Wiki the Latin means "Rejoice in the Lamb." I wish I'd included that in the post.

I still haven't looked at the entire poem, but the fragments I've seen have some fine parts, including the last few lines in today's post.

I didn't realize Smart had so captured the attention of so many modern poets. In scouting and skimming, I've found commentary by Galway Kinnell and Robert Pinsky as well as Hirsch. Kinnell published a poem in APR about a 1978(?) group celebration of Smart in N.Y., which included some major living luminaries, like James Wright, Phillip Levine, Etheridge Knight, and Muriel Ruckeyeser, who apparently fell down during her reading--a literal as well as symbolic honorific for Smart.

I repeat:
1. Charlie Sheen started all this.
2. We do like some madness in our artists, which I both do and do not entirely understand (contradiction noted).

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