Christopher Smart

1722–1771
Christopher Smart

The eccentric English poet Christopher Smart spent a considerable part of his adult life in confinement; besides being imprisoned for debt, he was institutionalized for madness connected to his extreme religious fervor. Almost unknown until the twentieth century, when further manuscripts of his work were discovered, he is best known for poems celebrating God and His Creation. The fragmentary “Rejoice in the Lamb,” with its famous section “For I will consider my cat Jeoffry,” was set to music in 1943 by Benjamin Britten.

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