Dante in China

Dante in China

by John Barr
Dante in China

Dante in China

by John Barr


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In John Barr's poems, the ancient masters encounter the modern world. Dante on a beach in China beholds the Inferno: “Flaring well gas night and day, / towers rise as if to say, / Pollution can be beautiful.” Bach’s final fugue informs all of nature. Villon is admonished by an aging courtesan. Aristotle finds “Demagogues are the insects of politics. / Like water beetles they stay afloat / on surface tension, they taxi on iridescence.” And his afterlife: “When three-headed Cerberus greeted him / Socrates replied: I won’t need / an attack dog, thank you. I married one.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781597090414
Publisher: Red Hen Press
Publication date: 07/10/2018
Pages: 88
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

John Barr was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and grew up in a rural township outside of Chicago. Graduating from Harvard College on a Navy scholarship, he served five years on

ships including three tours to Vietnam. Over a thirty-year career as an investment banker, he was Managing Director at Morgan Stanley and founded three startups. He has taught

in the Graduate Writing Program at Sarah Lawrence College and served on the boards of Yaddo, Bennington College, and the Poetry Society of America, the latter two as board

chair. In 2004, he was appointed the inaugural president of the Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, and served in that capacity for a decade. Dante in China is his ninth collection of poems. He lives in Connecticut.

Table of Contents

Introduction Written Ilya Kaminsky 13

Lyric Poems

Monstera 21

Bonsai Master 23

Dante in China 24

Match.com 26

The Armouress Replies 27

Descant on a Herrick Lyric 31

The Art of the Fugue 33

The Nature of Knowing 36

The Book 37

Mapping the Interior 38

Death of a Species 40

Oyster House 42

Aristotle's Will

Prologue 47

I Exile 49

II Plato's Will 53

III Alexander's Will 62

IV Aristotle's Testament 79

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