Young Rain

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With Young RainKevin Hart continues his `transmemberment of song' into a realm all his own. . . . -Harold Bloom Kevin Hart is one of the finest poets writing in English today. I admire his erudition and his imagination, the way history, art, myth, literature and many things come together in his poetry. This book will be a feast for those who want poetry to be both metaphysics and song. An absolutely original and indispensable poet. -Charles Simic Kevin Hart is one of the most sophisticated poets writing today, though the poems in Young Rain are disarmingly straightforward. They have an ease and lucidity that makes them seem almost casual, so that it is with a feeling of surprise that you realize that you have been drawn into a conversation of the utmost gravity concerning the private reaches of the self, darkness, and death, as in the powerful sequences `Night Music' and `Dark Retreat.' There is nothing oppressive about them, though, and the limpid rigor of the intellect they embody is leavened by the tenderness and sensuality of the poems in another sequence, `Amo te Solo,' which possesses a lustiness that would seem at home in the Bible but has almost disappeared from contemporary poetry. -John Koethe In a 1985 interview with fellow poet John Kinsella, Kevin Hart reflected on the nature of poetry: People sometimes think that the spiritual world is distinct from, even distant from, this world. . . . But the spiritual world is within this one: not as a secret, but as a radiance. . . . We find it through God's grace and our attention. Poetry is one form of attention, and poetry does not lead us to another world: it shows us this world, this relationship, this chair, this ivy on the outside wall. In Young Rain, Hart continues his exploration of the mysterious radiance within this world. . . . Kevin Hart is the best Australian poet of the past 25 years. -Mark Strand