by Kevin Hart
A breeze silks through my room and smells of oak
As evening gathers round the house:
The firefly neighborhoods
Press close these days
And I walk out, as thin as summer rain,
And see the houses holding still
And hear the cinnamon speech
Of lightning life.
A letter brought its silence to my door
A life or two ago today
And threw its weight around
Though flies still burn:
Tomorrow rain may change its slant again,
The wind may push the other way,
New flies may flicker past
And houses last.
Kevin Hart is the Edwin B. Kyle Professor of Christian Studies at the University of Virginia. He’s a respected literary critic, philosopher, and theologian who originally hails from Australia , where he grew up. Most importantly, for our purpose in the corning pages, Hart is known far and wide as a major poet. He’s been called original, indispensable, visionary, and one of the finest poets writing in English today. BYU was happy to host him on September 8, 2009 as part of the English Reading Series, and I was fortunate to enjoy a few minutes of his time discussing literature, novel jokes, the ineffable, print culture, and the best way to lull a baby back to sleep in the bleary AM (with poetry, of course). It turns out Hart is not only a great poet but a really decent, personable guy—energetic and extremely easy to talk to. When he offered to send Inscape some original poems, I jumped at the chance. You’ll find these poems—The Dead, Tomorrow, My First Tie, Summer—and our full interview in the following pages. We hope you enjoy. As far as I can tell, Kevin Hart is the first Australian poet to be featured in Inscape. We’re grateful for the opportunity and the support.