Christopher Smart – 4

Allen Ginsberg on “the mad poet”,  Christopher Smart continues

AG: Smart is amazing – Smart went crazy”  (Jack) Kerouac and I wrote a little poem called Smart Went Crazy” in 1948, talking about Kit Smart).  Kerouac loved this. Kerouac’s long line comes somewhat out of Christopher Smart also. If you notice… Remember that  long one that ended  – da-da da da-da da da-da – dadada-da-da-da da da da….. “the magnifical and mighty” – that long one, that… Kerouac remembered that – that ..gives some… gave Kerouac some kind of inspiration for his own long line.  (and for me, actually)

For Perpetual motion is in all the works of Almighty God,

For  Newton, nevertheless, is more a bearer of truth, but I am of the word of God  – (that’s what he says!)

For water is not of solid constituents but is dissolved from precious stones above. – (and then, that is to say, it’s condensed by the Lord’s frost)

For quicksilver is spiritual  and so is the air to all intents and purposes

For the air-pump weaken the spirts but cannot wholly exhaust.

For suction is the withdrawing of the life but life will follow as fast as it can

For the air is contaminated by curses & evil language. (there’s an interesting idea, that the very vibes, vibrations of curses  & evil language contaminates the air – that the air is contaminated by curses &  evil language – “What the fuck! Put on that (costume) – “What the fuck! Put on that  (costume) – no matter what they say,  if the cops come around, don’t tell ’em!” –  “The air is contaminated by curses”

Student: “Contaminated by..

AG Pardon me?

Student: “Contaminated by evil language’?

AG: “The air is contaminated by curses & evil language..”

Student: (Yeah, (so) we shouldn’t speak, but be silent”)

AG: Yep, he says “evil language’ –

For poisonous creatures catch some of it and retain it or ere it goes to the adversary

Let Justus ( J-U-S-T-U-S) rejoyce in Crispus in a  salmon-trout  –  the    Lord look on the soul of Richard Atwood

For the air is purified by prayer which is made aloud with all our might,

For loud prayer is good for weak lungs and for a vitiated throat

For sound is propogated in the spirit and in all directions  – (“sound is propagated in the spirit and in all directions”)

Let Christmas rejoyce with Leviathon – God be gracious with the soul of Hobbes who was no atheist but a servant of Christ and died in the Lord, I wrongd him God forgive me

For the voice of a figure is compleat in all  parts

For the man speaks himself from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet

For the lion roars himself compleat from head to tail – ( “For the lion roars himself compleat from head to tail” – They’re very intelligent. It’s amazing how intelligent these are. He’s taken to be.. The manuscript was never published because it was passed on to his heirs, friends,  literary executors of his day, and they took one look at it and said it’s mad and stupid, and, you know, can’t be published, and  just put it away forever. And so in putting it away, many fragments of it, many passages were lost.  It was retrieved in someone’s attic many years later)

Student: (Was a part of it destroyed?)

AG: Yes, a part was destroyed, disappeared  – “For a good voice hath its echo with it and is attainable by much supplication.

For the voice is from the body and the spirit and is a body and a spirit

For God the father almighty plays upon a harp of stupendous magnitude and melody

For this time is perciptible to man by a remarkable stillness and serenity of soul – (that’s very nice) –

For the strings of the strings of the shawm were upon a cylinder which is turned to the wind  ( – “turned to the wind”)

For this is spiritual music altogether as the wind is a spirit.  ( – so he knows about that  business of breath and spirit..)

For there is nothing but it may be played upon, in delight

For the flames of fire may be blown from musical pipes

For it is so higher up in the vast empyrean 

For nothing is so real as that which is spiritual

For thunder’s the voice of God direct in verse and music

For lightning is a glance of the glory of God

For I am the Lord’s news writer, the scribe-evangelist, Widow Mitchel, Gun and Grange bless the Lord Jesus..

Then he has a whole thing on the Russians, the Irish, the Dutch  and relation to who they are in relation to the Bible (which is something William Blake also did) – “For the Hottentots are the children of God with a black mixture…”  (pretty funny!)

[Audio for the above can be heard here, beginning at fifty-eight-and-three-quarter minutes n and concluding at approximately sixty-four-and-three-quarter minutes in]

 

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