John Barr’s Dante in China

“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 afl oat / 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.'” [. . .]    —Red Hen Press, 2018.

You can purchase a copy of Dante in China on Indiebound.