The Adventures of Ibn Opcit is a two-volume work by John Barr, first president of The Poetry Foundation. Grace, the first volume of this mock epic, is the master song of Ibn Opcit, a Caribbean gardener/poet condemned to die by torture. In a series of jailhouse monologues we hear him descant on justice, on creation, on America, on death and on life after death. In book two, Opcit at Large, the poet pushes back on his oppressors in three adventures. Like Virgil in the Inferno he visits the afterworld of reincarnation in “The Afterdammit;” he struggles to survive as poet laureate to Africa’s newest President for Life in “Opcit en Afrique;” he orbits earth as “The Last Cosmonaut” on the eve of the fall of the Soviet Union. He comes home with the dignity and strength of one who has survived and prevailed.
About the Author
The poems of John Barr have appeared in many magazines and have been published in seven previous collections: The War Zone (1989), Natural Wonders (1991), The Dial Painters (1994), Centennial Suite (1997), all by Warwick Press; The Hundred Fathom Curve (1997) and Grace (1999), by Story Line Press; and The Hundred Fathom Curve: New & Collected Poems (2011) by Red Hen Press. Barr has served on the boards of the Poetry Society of America, Yaddo, and Bennington College, the latter as chairman. He has taught in the graduate writing program of Sarah Lawrence College, and was appointed in 2004 the first president of The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. He lives in Chicago and New York. The Adventures of Ibn Opcit is his eighth collection.
Table of Contents
The Overruth Hearings 9
The Eclogues of Opcit 17
I Genesises 19
II I Been to New York. Once. 27
III The Opposite Number 59
IV The Death of the Appreciator 81
V Eclogue of Afters 91
VI The Wings of Man 129