March 15, 2018

It's hard to keep up

Here is Robert Pinsky in 2009 with a great piece on Christopher Smart's Jubilate Agno.  We're a little late here, but this is worth a look.
Sincerity by itself and audacity by itself are not necessarily impressive qualities in art. It's possible to recognize that a work is heartfelt without admiring it, and it's possible to recognize the bold churning of imagination without feeling much emotion because of it. 
Together, though, sincerity and audacity can be immensely powerful, as in the best-known passage of Christopher Smart's "Jubilate Agno," the lines in which Smart (1722-71) considers his cat, Jeoffry...
Smart conveys that the sacred must be attained not by means of decorous or ecclesiastical portals but by embracing—even revering—what may look profane or trivial.



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