Kevin J. Hart
Barefoot is Kevin Hart’s eighth collection of poems; it is rich in elegies, meditations on lost love, and celebrations of new love. The title speaks of mourning, pilgrimage, and the direct sensuous contact of flesh with earth. Harold Bloom has long extolled Hart as a “visionary of desire,” and in this collection we find that vision deepened and that desire extended. Never before has Hart stretched his range of inspiration quite so far; while continuing to draw from Christianity, he also responds to the rich heritage of American Blues, and reveals a wit as sharp as a razor’s edge. The poetry is at once religious poetry and love poetry; indeed, the “religious poetry” is itself love poetry. Always, Hart speaks to us in words that seem inevitable in their simplicity. As he himself has written, “The best conductor of mystery is clarity. The true bearer of complexity is simplicity.” Barefoot will delight poetry lovers everywhere.