Christopher Smart

(1663 words)

Christopher Smart's name is often to be found linked with Collins, Cowper and Blake - those other eighteenth century poets who ‘went mad'. It is certainly true that from 1757 until 1763 he was confined in a madhouse, but it is also true that during those years, and in that place, he wrote the poems which have led him to be recognised now as our finest religious poet between Herbert and Hopkins. So, was he mad? In his long poem Jubilate Agno he wrote, ‘For I have a greater compass of both mirth and melancholy than another', which would suggest he was a manic depressive, but he rarely seems to have been depressed, and so must have been very difficult to live with. Eventually, his wife, together with her step-father, the …

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Citation:
Curry, Neil. "Christopher Smart". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 November 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=4105, accessed 21 November 2014.]

Articles on Smart's works

  1. A Song to David
  2. A Translation of the Psalms of David
  3. Hymns and Spiritual Songs
  4. Hymns For The Amusement of Children
  5. Jubilate Agno
  6. Poems on Several Occasions
  7. Seatonian Poems