Christopher Smart – 2

 
For I pray God to bless improvements in gardening until London be a city of palm-trees.
For in my nature I quested for beauty but God, God hath sent me to sea for pearls
For the nightly Visitor is at the window of the impenitent, while I sing a psalm of my own composing.
For there is a note added to the scale, which the Lord hath made fuller, stronger and more glorious.
Let Magdiel rejoice with Ascarides, which is the life of the bowels—the worm hath a part in our frame –
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Christopher Smart – 1

[Christopher Smart (1722- 1771)]

Allen Ginsberg on Christopher Smart continues

AG: And so what I’ll do now is read you some of Smart that you don’t have in the book and then we’ll get on to the book. It looks like that..long lines ..and it’s on facing pages, and on one side it begins, “Let man and beast appear before him, and magnify his name together..”   (it depends., some are missing manuscripts)

“Let Zurishaddai with the Polish Cock rejoice—The Lord restore peace to Europe. For I meditate the peace of Europe amongst family bickerings and domestic jars” (so, it’s “Let” … Read More

Christopher Smart – Intro

[Christopher Smart (1722-1771)]

AG: Lets get on to Christopher Smart on page five one five.

Student: But it sounds…

AG: Sounds, yeah, they’re similar. (Watts and Blake’s lullabies)  I’m sorry, this belongs to…      Now, has anybody read any Christopher Smart before? – One.. two..  Have you read some Smart?

Student: Maxwell Smart ?

AG; No, Christopher Smart.  Do you know any Smart? Do you know.. Is he taught much?  And what Smart is taught?

Student:  Aha!

AG: Is “Rejoice in the Lamb” taught at any great length.? “Jubilate Agno”?  And “Songs to David”? … Read More

Pull My Daisy (Collaborative Poem)

AG: And another one of the similar.. well, of a similar theme, just a crazy (crazy).. – the mad song?  you know, just the idea of the madman’s song?, was – “Pull My Daisy”,  (which began as a little lyric that I wrote, “Pull my daisy/tip my cup…”) – “Pull my daisy/tip my cup/Cut my thoughts/for coconuts...” – (Well I heard, at some point, about Christopher Smart, actually) –  “When I think of death/ I get a goofy feeling/Then I catch my breath/Zero is appealing/Appearances are hazy/Smart went crazy/Smart went crazy” – (Christopher Smart, I meant with that – … Read More

A List of List Poems

AG:  But by this anaphoric rapture, or anaphoric repetition, it {Crashaw’s poem “The Flaming  Heart”] actually builds up to rapture. So this is what Anne Waldman calls a list poem”, actually, an early list poem. I taught a little poetry workshop this weekend and checked out list poems and the samples I used were (the) thirteenth and twenty-eighth chapters of Ecclesiastes (because there is “..or the golden bowl be broken”), and then I read Christopher Smart, I used “Like to the flaming of a star.”,  the little.. – I used that as a list
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Meditation and Poetics – 86 (Christopher Smart – 3)

“For I Will Consider My Cat Jeoffry” –  Allen concludes his reading of Christopher Smart to his 1978 Naropa class with, perhaps, his most famous lines.  For earlier Ginsberg-on-Smart see herehere and here

For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry.
For he is the servant of the Living God, duly and daily serving him.
For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way.
For this is … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 84 (Christopher Smart)

[Christopher Smart (1722-1771)]

AG: Then there was another set of details that I thought I’d go into today having to do, somewhat, with this sense of arrangement, with this interpretation of arrangement of words on a page. So far, what we’ve got here, is this clear in relation to what I’ve been saying before? is this something you could all do if you were writing that sort of form? I was hoping to present something practical and helpful. For those of you who write just along the margin, I was hoping that this would suggest a different way of … Read More

Spontaneous Poetics – 30 (Reading List – 1) (Dorn,Smart,Bunting Wieners)

Allen’s 1976 Spontaneous Poetics Summer lectures continue with this, his fifth lecture, dated June 18, 1976. He continues from his earlier classes on the ballad form, but in this class begins by sketching out a brief bibliography, offering suggestions for reading. He consistently refers students to the then-growing Naropa Institute library. Ed Dorn, Christopher Smart, Basil Bunting and John Wieners are the first of a number of figures that he mentions.

AG (begins, distributing a leaflet with various writers names) : There’s something by everybody, here in the library. So it’s a reading-list, or it’s a list of … Read More