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Listening for “The Silence of the Night”: Reading Kevin Hart’s “The Voice of Brisbane”

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Abstract This essay undertakes a close reading of Kevin Hart’s poem “The Voice of Brisbane” alongside three pertinent voices. The first voice belongs to Yves Bonnefoy and concerns his translation of the French term évidence. Taking into account Hart’s own admiration of Bonnefoy, this essay contrasts the kinds of experiential and poetic claims that the two poets make. The second voice belongs to St. John of the Cross. Hart’s poem owes much to the kinds of mystical meditation that St. John advocates. The third voice belongs to Synesius of Cyrene, a fifth-century Platonist and bishop, whose poem “Awake My Soul” bears an uncanny resemblance to the pattern of Hart’s work.

Affiliations: 1: Charles Sturt University New South Wales Australia


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