Kevin Hart’s ‘Poetry and Revelation: For a Phenomenology of Religious Poetry’

9781472598318-200x300Tom Millay at Marginalia:

Kevin Hart is not one to boast. Nothing in this volume, which discusses religious poetry, would let one know that Hart is a major contemporary poet (as Harold Bloom amongst others has claimed), nor that some of his poems are religious. We do not find out that Hart is the one who has written the lines: “I want to live/Like a water spider over my own life/And touch again the month we fell in love/And feel its flesh,” nor that he has written “The Room,” which is said to have sustained a captured Chilean soldier who had memorized the poem through a period of intense mental and physical torture.

Perhaps Hart wanted the volume, one of a number of important theoretical works he penned, to stand on its own, and it certainly does; however, it is worth mentioning that this theoretical account of religious poetry is written by someone who is a practicing religious poet. The book is essentially an apologia for religious poetry accomplished through a novel mode of argumentation: phenomenology. As far as I am aware, this is the first major treatment of religious poetry in the field of phenomenology, and the result is a stirring defense of religious poetry against two major detractors of the very idea.

more here.

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