Analysis of Christopher Smart's "For I Will Consider My Cat Jeofry"

Essay by angel8314University, Bachelor'sA, February 2004

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"For I Will Consider My Cat Jeoffry" is a poem Christopher Smart wrote about the cats of another time. Though he makes references to "Jeoffry" his underlying connotation is towards felines in a biblical sense. He will cover both their physical and metaphysical characteristics. He shows their worship of a higher being as well as their worship of themselves and others.

In his beginning lines, "For at the first glance of the glory of God in the east he worships in his way," shows Jeoffry as a servant of the sun because at the first sign of the sun he goes into his routine, following the sun around his house. He circles a spot many times to find the perfect position to lie. Once he's found the perfect resting spot in the sun he immediately springs to his feet at the opportunity to enjoy some catnip. This catnip is the ultimate enjoyment by a cat, the perfect answer to his prayers.

He rolls around doing tricks to expend the newly found energy. After he has paid his homage to the sun and has received his reward he begins to tend to himself.

"For this he performs in ten degrees." While this poem has an underlying correlation to God, as we have our Ten Commandments, a cat has his own ten rules that can't be broken. "First he looks upon his fore-paws to see if they are clean", the first act that all cats do is to make sure their paws are clean before moving on to other parts of themselves. "For secondly he kicks up behind to clear away there", this is simply the act of him cleaning his backside. "For thirdly he works it upon stretch with the fore-paws extended", this is the act of him stretching his...