from Articles of War, Section V

By John Barr John Barr
I stare down into waterburn.
This urge to enter what we see.
Unrefracted tropical sun
with its whole arm
works deeply the ocean interior.

Water and light in union
make a third thing—color as fluid
deepened endlessly.
Into the quarry of aquamarine,
high-walled with light, the mind high dives.

My fingers cleave watersilk.
I breathe heavy light.
The big cavitation of the props
gone by, my struggling stops, my slowed

descent, in diminishing light,
gains the country where the shark
is eagle, fish the fishermen, and men
no more than stones along the road.

John Barr, "from Articles of War, section V" from The Hundred Fathom Curve: New & Collected Poems. Copyright © 2011 by John Barr. Reprinted by permission of Red Hen Press.

Source: The Hundred Fathom Curve: New & Collected Poems (Red Hen Press, 2011)

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Poet John Barr

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Nature, Seas, Rivers, & Streams

 John  Barr

Biography

John Barr served as the first president of the Poetry Foundation from 2004 to 2013, where he worked with the board to develop the Foundation's strategic plan and to build a permanent home for Poetry magazine, the first in its 100-year history. He has taught in the graduate writing program of Sarah Lawrence College and has served on the boards of the Poetry Society of America, Yaddo, and Bennington College.

Barr grew up in Lisle, . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Seas, Rivers, & Streams

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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