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.
“Kevin Hart’s Barefoot is a magnificent book. Hart’s poetry has always been marked by a tenderness and sensuality and an openness to existence, and it remains so here, but that openness now extends to the negative aspects of existence, which make the book both exhilarating and harrowing. I think that Barefoot is one of Kevin Hart’s finest achievements.” —John Koethe, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
“One of the strengths of this book is Hart’s penetrating lucidity and his passionate ideas. He is a master craftsman with a visionary imagination, and these are his finest poems.” —Robert Adamson, CAL Chair in Poetry, University of Technology Sydney