Tuesday, September 3, 2019

The Powerful Message of Jubilate Agno :: Jubilate Agno Essays

The Powerful Message of Jubilate Agno        Ã‚  Ã‚   Jubilate Agno is Christopher Smart's poem which illustrates at first glance a testament to his religious obsession and his deteriorated mental state. The other side of this poem shows a man trying to keep his sanity in an insane place. William Stead sees the work as "a spiritual diary of his thoughts, memories, and prayers, during the darkest years of his life" (Stead 17). Jubilate Agno focuses on God with daily occurrences weaving their way into the poem. Smart's work "reflects what was . . . his life work: the praise of God through poetry" (Anderson 54). Smart writes about what he knows from the Bible to animals to the alphabet; most contain God themes [?]. In his tribute to his cat, Jeoffry, Smart shows the cat's particular connection to God, and how Jeoffry is the ideal servant of God. Is an insane Smart writing about an imaginary cat's servitude to God? Or is the intellectual Smart merely paralleling human life to cat life to show how each of us can ser ve God?    Jeoffry became more than a pet to Smart in the years of his confinement. Dr. Sherbo contends that "he had a cat, a real one, not the product of his distressed imagination" (qtd. in Dearnley 155). Smart, being particularly religious, felt that his companion was a good illustration of serving God in his ways. Jeoffry is aware of God, "For he knows that God is his Saviour" (134) just as we should. Smart refers to Jeoffry working for God, "for when his day's work is done his business more properly begins. / For he keeps the Lord's watch in the night against the adversary" (Smart 133). Jeoffry strives to serve God so much that after each full day of activities he can still be a servant to God. With the detailed descriptions of Jeoffry's daily routines, Smart sees the holy connection in them. "For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way. / For this is done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness" (131). A morning stretch for a feline symbolizes a morning prayer for a person.

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