English Language and Literature ETDs

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The purpose of this study is to throw light upon what the author feels to be one of the greatest lyric poems of the eighteenth century and upon the character and mind of its creator. Both A Song to David and its author, Christopher Smart, have long been regarded as enigmas. That “mad” Smart should have been capable of writing the strange and beautiful Song has captured the imagination of romantic and realist alike. The Song has been considered almost always as an isolated miracle, as the mysterious and impassioned product of a man who went mad because he took prayer too seriously. One of the foci of this study will be the relating of the Song to the Smart canon generally. This relation will disprove, it is hoped, the concept of the isolatedness and uniqueness of the Song; it will be seen to be a culmination rather than a literary curiosity.

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First Committee Member (Chair)

Cecil Vivian Wicker

Second Committee Member

William Price Albrecht

Third Committee Member

Norton Barr Crowell



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