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Flame Tree

Flame Tree

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Kevin Hart is not only one of Australia's most important poets but a major figure in world poetry. He is a visionary writer who has taken his bearings as much from English Romanticism and European Modernism as from the Bible, Plato and Meister Eckhart. His poetry is at once sensuous and mysterious, visionary yet grounded in the lush, tropical landscapes of Australia.

Hart's poetry is dual in nature and inspiration, embracing the pain and passion of humanity at the same time as it evokes the immanence of God in the world. His double-edged poetry is both radiant and grounded, sensuous and searching, casting both light and shadow on what can be named while tracing the borderlines of what must be left unnamed. It does not betray these borders, but respects their mystery and complexity. As Hart has written: "The best conductor of mystery is clarity. The true bearer of complexity is simplicity."

"Elegant, deeply philosophicalÖ Kevin Hart is the best Australian poet of the past 25 years."
Mark Strand

"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

"The most outstanding Australian poet of his generationÖ One of the major living poets in the English languageÖ Kevin Hart is an erudite poet, but converts his learning into passion. He is a visionary of desire and its limits."
Harold Bloom

"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 realise 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 possess a lustiness that would seem at home in the Bible, but has almost disappeared from contemporary poetry."
John Koethe