Welcome. I'm an epic poet, rhapsode, poet-critic, and the author or editor of a dozen books. Thank you for visting. And I hope you enjoy getting to know me.
The Myth of the Enlightenment: Essays. September, 2014. Hardcover ISBN: 9780982677834. Earthrise Press, 230 pages. Free USA and worldwide shipping processed within 24 hours from Earthrise Press, with printers also in Milton Keynes, UK, and Scoresby, Australia. Barnes & Noble ships in 24 hours. Or use Amazon, Amazon.ca, Amazon.UK, Amazon.in, etc. PDF and ebooks.
Fourteen years in the making, The Myth of the Enlightenment is Frederick Glaysher’s first collection of literary essays since The Grove of the Eumenides in 2007. Divided into three sections, these essays and reviews were all written during the 21st Century, with many of them central to his evolving intellectual and spiritual struggle to write his epic poem, The Parliament of Poets, which he completed and published in late 2012.
These essays open up Glaysher’s own biography and his life-long interest in the writings of Leo Tolstoy, Rabindranath Tagore, John Milton, Saul Bellow, Robert Hayden, and other poets and writers, offering a fresh, new vision of literature and culture...
"In short this is a book I'll be returning to for the rest of this year and no doubt afterward. I'm glad it exists and I'm grateful for the wisdom it sends my way." —Laurence Goldstein, University of Michigan, Department of English
“Frederick Glaysher throws down a gauntlet to all who consider themselves informed and reflective thinkers. He compels us to consider the daunting question of what we read and why. His persuasive answer is constituted by the thoughtful criticism of the Myth of Enlightenment, which insightfully examines important texts from Milton, Tagore, Tolstoy and others of that eminence. Through a series of astute readings, he grounds the canonical status of these works in their high worth as a wisdom literature. That is, they constitute the experiential knowledge gained from the examined lives of our greatest writers. Whatever one’s final judgment of this claim, it must be considered if only for the literary acumen of this author. In an era in which the value of human life has become as precarious and narrow as the study of the humanities itself, we need Glaysher’s voice more than ever.” —Phillip M. Richards, Colgate University, Department of English, author of Black Heart: The Moral Life of Recent African American Letters.
“A marvelous book of eloquent essays, one that honors the old literary masters, East and West, while exploring the deepest corners of spirituality and the implications for ameliorating the conditions of modern humanity. Reading each essay feels like entering into the secret chambers of the writer’s consciousness struggling “with what is universal in the human being.” ...intended not just for academics, but a voice for all, and one that speaks to our time. ...if there are millions of people waiting for a sign, as Allan Bloom is cited as saying, then this book is assuredly evidence of what such a sign looks like.” —Julie Clayton, New Consciousness Review
"Whilst comparatively divergent in their make-up and composition the essays in The Myth of the Enlightenment form an enjoyable collection of insightful and erudite commentaries on spirituality and the nature of being human. At times the essays reveal the author's clearly deep emotional and philosophical beliefs and the passion that oozes from out of the text is thoroughly commendable. ...this book opens up some potentially fascinating and educationally rewarding terrain. The Myth of the Enlightenment is a rich tapestry of insight and personal reflection which many poets and lovers of a free world will gladly embrace." —Spirituality Today
"Frederick Glaysher is a man of passion and commitment to both poetry and classic literature. His immense knowledge on these subjects reveal themselves throughout the collection of essays contained within his book The Myth of the Enlightenment. It is a pleasure to absorb his perspective in a wide range of issues, both spiritual and political, through this book, and his observations on such subjects as democracy in China and race issues in America are interesting. As a book that weaves its way through a lot of terrain it will be enjoyed by those who like to take philosophical commentary one piece at a time. Recommended reading!" —Mr. P. J. Morris, Amazon UK
The Parliament of Poets: An Epic Poem. Hardcover ISBN: 9780982677889. eISBN: 9780982677865. Earthrise Press, November, 2012. 294 pages. Free USA and worldwide shipping processed within 24 hours from Earthrise Press, with printers also in Milton Keynes, UK, and Scoresby, Australia. Barnes & Noble ships in 24 hours. Or use Amazon, Kobo, Google Play, and their global affiliates, e.g., Amazon.ca, Amazon.uk, Amazon.in, etc. PDF and ebooks.
Download a free PDF of chapter I > Here
Thirty years in the making, set partly on the moon, at the Apollo 11 landing site, the Sea of Tranquility.
Apollo, the Greek god of poetry, calls all the poets of the nations, ancient and modern, East and West, to assemble on the moon to consult on the meaning of modernity. The Parliament of Poets sends the Persona, the Poet of the Moon, on a Journey to the seven continents to learn from all of the spiritual and wisdom traditions of humankind. On Earth and on the moon, the poets teach him a new global, universal vision of life.
One of the major themes is the power of women and the female spirit across cultures. Another is the nature of science and religion, including quantum physics, as well as the "two cultures," science and the humanities.
"Very readable and intriguingly enjoyable. Frederick Glaysher's hours of dedication have produced a masterpiece that will stand the test of time." —Les Merton, Poetry Cornwall, No. 36, England
"A great epic poem of startling originality and universal significance." —Dr. Hans-George Ruprecht, CKCU Literary News, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
"Don't be intimidated by an epic poem. It's really coming back to that image of the storyteller sitting around the campfires of the world, dipping into and weaving the story of humanity, in the most beautiful, mellifluous language." —Miriam Knight, New Consciousness Review radio
"It only takes the first few paragraphs of this modern epic poem to feel the mental gush of ideas, fascinating juxtapositionings, and unique symbolism for our time." —Dave Gordon, The Jewish Post and News of Winnipeg, Canada
"The purpose of the spiritual journey of the Poet of the Moon is to seek deliverance of the modern human from the captivity of nothingness, nihilism and atheism, and from the resulting chaos and chasm of soul. ...Bravo to the Poet for this toilsome but brilliant endeavour." —Umme Salma in Transnational Literature, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia
"...the stylistic and thematic magnificence of The Parliament of Poets: An Epic Poem. A contemporary classic! Highly recommended for reading." —Nishat Haider, Associate Professor, Lucknow University, Lucknow, India
"But possibly even the ambition of these [Odysseus Elytis and Derek Walcott] is dwarfed by what is attempted here." —Graham Mummery, Amazon UK Review
"An impassioned plea on behalf of humanity that reaches down and grabs the human longing for the Awakened Heart. ...a very important book for our time." —Tina Benson, Amazon Review, California
"This is a uniquely powerful work that introduces an established and powerful literary tradition to a world that is in desperate need of its essential rhythms and harmonies for spiritual sustenance." —Spirituality Today
"Like being enfolded into a glorious, celestial, orchestral song... A worthy literary masterpiece... Amazing, wonderful book." —Julie Clayton, New Consciousness Review
"Beautiful book." —Dr. Catherine Al-Meten, The Examiner, Portland, Oregon
"Beautiful poem...an excellent piece of poetry." —Nana Fredua-Agyeman, ImageNations, Ghana, Africa
"An attempt to merge the sciences and the humanities to reach a greater understanding of the human condition. ...the poetry and language is rather beautiful. ...it’s really very readable." —Chris Hislop, Savage, London
"The main story is an interesting proposition, that maybe it is poets and philosophers, rather than activists and politicians, who can ultimately help transform this world into something better. Recommended reading for those who enjoy the tradition of mythological story-telling through rhythm and allegory." —Mr. P. J. Morris, Amazon UK
If you've read my epic, please let me and others know what you think. Even a review of a sentence or two, a paragraph, on Amazon, wherever, would be appreciated. My social networking links are below. I'd love to hear from you.
I am seeking invitations to read, by arrangement, from my epic poem, anywhere on Earth. Also available for epic poetry workshops. Details at LinkedIn
Epic Poetry ReadingRobert Hayden Centennial Conference and Poetry Tribute.
The University of Michigan, Rackham Amphitheatre, November 1, 2013.
From the canto "Flight of the Persona to the Moon," with his guide, the poet Robert Hayden.
Other Epic Poetry Readings
Longer Excerpts from Reviews of The Parliament of Poets: An Epic Poem
"It only takes the first few paragraphs of this modern epic poem to feel the mental gush of ideas, fascinating juxtapositionings, and unique symbolism for our time.... The reader travels with the epic poem’s narrator, and hero, the Persona, exploring their journey throughout the seven continents – and transcending space and time - in order to acquire wisdom from mankind. In the case of the Persona, much of the struggle and the obstacles relate to whether or not he can find his way, or know himself. It is perhaps not a surprise, then, that The Parliament of Poets discusses a cross-cultural milieu, especially given Glaysher’s vast and varied experiences in his own life." —Dave Gordon, The Jewish Post and News of Winnipeg; Landmark Report (Toronto reprint) Canada
"The purpose of the spiritual journey of the Poet of the Moon is to seek deliverance of the modern human from the captivity of nothingness, nihilism and atheism, and from the resulting chaos and chasm of soul. From the versatile he gets scores of life-affirming lessons, yet the core meaning of all is that the Supreme Being as well as the earth is one, and so human beings are one nation irrespective of their clan, class, color, race, religion and gender. In this earth human beings are part of the Great Mystery’s creation and their duty is to keep the balance and harmony of the universe, to achieve union, to choose sacrifice, and to be self-controlled. In this manner Glaysher sings the song of ‘one Earth, without borders, Mother Earth, her embrace encircling one people, humankind’ (19)…. The lucid and placid feet of the language moves deftly and smoothly from the beginning up to the last line of the poem. Bravo to the Poet for this toilsome but brilliant endeavour." —Umme Salma, International Islamic University, Department of English Language and Literature, Chittagong, Bangladesh, in Transnational Literature Vol. 7 no. 1, November 2014, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia; —Nishat Haider, Associate Professor, Lucknow University, Lucknow, India > "The review has evocatively summed up the stylistic and thematic magnificence of 'The Parliament of Poets: An Epic Poem.' A contemporary classic! Highly recommended for reading."
"A great epic poem of startling originality and universal significance, ingeniously enriching the canon of 'literary epics' while in every way partaking of the nature of world literature. ...Glaysher is in a creative dialog with the greatest epic poets of all time. He is bringing together in beautiful verse form...diverse visions of humanity from all over the world. ...frequently casting them in the form of spatial and cosmic imagery. A pure joy...contemporary 'world literature' at its best." —Dr. Hans-George Ruprecht, CKCU Literary News, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. (Author of over twenty-three books and articles in German, French, and English, on semiotics, Goethe, Thomas Mann, Hugo, Joyce, Borges, Brecht, Doležel, etc.)
"The Parliament of Poets is an exquisitely rendered epic poem that weaves ancient and contemporary vision into the heart of modern darkness and the light of eternal hope.... The experience of reading this book defies attempts to describe it: poetry, like any art, means many things to many people. For this reader it was like being enfolded into a glorious, celestial, orchestral song in which every instrument is finely tuned, timed, and vital to the whole, with different melodies coming together as a single motion to do something none of them could do alone.... 'Always the world awaits the poet who can find the right words, more so now than ever,' says Tolstoy, final words of counsel to the Persona after his many crossings. In this book are such words, and the author, like Gandhi, must surely be 'wrapped in selfless practice'—dedicating thirty years of his life to finding them on our behalf. The Parliament of Poets is a worthy literary masterpiece, the author a curator of the human story, the book a living cultural artifact. Once read, you know your life was impoverished without it." —Julie Clayton, New Consciousness Review, Portland, Oregon, and Amazon Review
"What attracted me was the ambition in this work, which attempts to look at what poetic traditions, ancient and modern might have to offer to a world which perhaps has lost touch with its spiritual and ecological centre of gravity... In many ways it goes against the way many twentieth century poets have written, though there have been longer poems that have epic qualities, for example Odysseus Elytis's The Axion Esti, or Derek Walcott's Omeros. But possibly even the ambition of these is dwarfed by what is attempted here.
...he is attempting to unify lessons from many traditions, eastern and western, and there are references to many poets from English language ones to ones from places as diverse as China, India, Mexico and Poland, as well as many times. This is an attempt to fuse a truly global vision drawing on many poetic traditions.
...This is a highly stimulating read. The range of reading on display is impressive. It is refreshing to see poetry with a mission, and a suggested role in the modern world. This work is an impressive intellectual as well as visionary feat as well as being poetic. It will certainly be of interest to those of a philosophical, poetic and visionary frame of mind. ...I will be getting a book version of this work. There is much to ponder on here as well as to relish." —Graham Mummery, Amazon UK Review
"The Parliament of Poets is one of the most important books of our time. In this grand sweeping epic, Glaysher has managed to live up to the task given to him by The Parliament of Poets. ...a new vision for humanity; one of Unity and Oneness of humankind. ...synthesizing and integrating the great thinkers of all time. ...a tangible vision of our shared humanity. ...an impassioned plea that we WAKE UP before we destroy ourselves and our one precious planet. ...an inspired epic that integrates the ancient wisdom teachings of the world's greatest wisdom teachers and poets. ...a new vision and sense of responsibility towards our shared humanity. An impassioned plea on behalf of humanity that reaches down and grabs the human longing for the Awakened Heart. ...a very important book for our time and a MUST READ!!!!" —Tina Benson, Amazon Review; Goodreads, California
"In the classic epic poem, the hero suffers many challenges, meets many obstacles, and experiences what Joseph Campbell described as the Hero’s journey.... A hero must meet obstacles, and in the case of the Persona, the obstacles are both internal and external—very Jungian is our hero. The quest for individuation or the coming together in wholeness, is evident as we, the readers/listeners follow the trials and travels of our hero. ...beautiful book." —Dr. Catherine Al-Meten, The Examiner, Portland, Oregon (2,700 words)
"I found this book to be up to the standards set by Homer. ...very thought provoking as it brings into question what humanity is doing to the Earth and each other." —LibraryThing, Texas
"The plot follows a poet (presumably Glaysher himself, hinted at in the title of “Persona”), taken magically to the Moon, where a collection of the world’s greatest poets have assembled a parliament to consult on the “meaning of modernity”. ...an attempt to merge the sciences and the humanities to reach a greater understanding of the human condition – Glaysher certainly doesn’t aim low. ...the poetry and language is rather beautiful. Glaysher has grasped epic poetry’s rhythms and cadences, favouring an iambic meter to create a pleasant, rolling pace to the piece. ...it’s really very readable." —Chris Hislop, Savageonline, London
"The power of a mythological tale is interwoven into the fabric of its narrative. The crescendo that builds, and which ultimately leads the reader to its climax of revelation, is the key ingredient that makes the epic poem so seductive as a literary form. With this in mind I shall not comment overly on the story in The Parliament of Poets for fear of spoiling its essential spiritual message and core dynamic for potential readers. This is more than simply trying to avoid ruining its 'plotline' or fear of introducing a 'spoiler' into the equation but is, instead, my way of safe-guarding the inherent esoteric value of the work for a reader - one which is invariably expressed within its whole rhythmic phrasing and textual structure....
"In this regard The Parliament of Poets - both as a story and as an independently-produced publication, is a success on many levels. It is a tale of, and about, our age of modernity and several contemporary themes have been woven into its narrative in such a way that remind us that perhaps the spiritual crisis humanity faces is an extension of the technological age that we now live in. On the other hand, the poem, it should be stated, is not without its odd flashes of humour and dry irony which, once again enriches its overall value as a dynamic and engaging piece of art rather than a dry academic exercise....
"This is a uniquely powerful work that introduces an established and powerful literary tradition to a world that is in desperate need of its essential rhythms and harmonies for spiritual sustenance." —Spirituality Today
"The Parliament of Poets is, in the truest sense of the word, an epic poem. Whilst not grandiose in its execution it does deal with one of the greatest challenges to face humanity at this moment in its history - namely the desperate need for a spirituality context that serves humanity going forward. The style of the narrative is engaging and flows with colour and descriptive intent whilst not being overly 'flowery' in a way that so often befalls many other inspired poets. Indeed the story is grounded in contemporary issues and includes moments of humour and sardonic wit which are enjoyable. The main story is an interesting proposition, that maybe it is poets and philosophers, rather than activists and politicians, who can ultimately help transform this world into something better. Recommended reading for those who enjoy the tradition of mythological story-telling through rhythm and allegory." —Mr. P. J. Morris, Amazon UK
"Glaysher...has shown...that with the right subject matter and the right language, one can create an epic poem even in today's age. ...a beautiful poem that falls off the tongue smoothly. All through this epic poem, the Poet of the Moon is addressing or discussing the Buddhist concept of Itai Doshin or the unity of the mind in the midst of diversity, which is also the concept the concept that underpins the Ubuntu philosophy, which translates into 'I am, because we are'. The poet talks about peaceful coexistence, that oneness of us as a people of the earth and with our environment. He sees rapacious quest for wealth as unhealthy, impacting negatively on us as a people. He believes that everything should be done to advance the course of humanity and not an individual. He believes that science and religion should not be antagonists but should both work to advance the course of humanity. The problem comes when the sole end of scientific research becomes profit. And here one should equally add religion, with regards to the springing up of churches whose ultimate goal is making money for the founders. In effect the poet wants to see the unity of what he calls 'false dichotomies': science and religion, reason and intuition, material and spiritual, white and black, and others. ...an excellent piece of poetry." —Nana Fredua-Agyeman, Ghana, Africa ImageNations; Goodreads (2,100 words)
"Certainly wowed the crowd at the library with the performance and the words themselves." —Albany Poets News, New York
"Most of the contemporary poets and critics claim that epic is not suitable for our modern age. But Frederick Glaysher has proven them wrong.... 'The Parliament of Poets' has all the grandeur, all the loftiness and qualities which make an 'effort for an epic' a 'true epic.' In essence, 'The Parliament of Poets' is a song of unity, an audacious declaration that unity does not mean conformity, it means being in harmony. The poet himself is the main character of this epic poem, who travels to the moon, meets a large number of great poets and writers of the world, comes back to earth to have some glimpses of bygone times. Throughout the entire journey, many poets, writers, sages guide the poet and share their invaluable knowledge and insights." —Ratul Pal, Bangladesh, Bangladesh, Goodreads"AWESOME BOOK!! This was ordered as a gift and I have to admit I had a hard time letting it go! Highly recommend both the book and the seller!" —Stanleys Mom, Amazon Review
NEW Radio Interview > 01/11/2015 Epic poet/visionary Frederick Glaysher... "Frederick Glaysher, he is the epic poet and visionary, and the author of two extraordinary books, The Myth of the Enlightenment and The Parliament of Poets. I recommend both." —Mike Schwager, The Enrichment Hour, POETRY, PEACE, ENLIGHTENMENT... Interview WSRadio 23 minutes.
August 5, 2014, by Miriam Knight and Julie Clayton, for the New Consciousness Review radio. Portland, Oregon. 27 minutes.
"You know how on space probes they have these little goodie bags full of things. It is my feeling that they should include a copy of The Parliament of Poets, because you give this overview, this panorama of the best of human civilization, the voice of her poets, the voice of her dreamers and thinkers, and done it with great honor to each of them, and so I do want to commend your book to our listeners. Don't be intimidated by an epic poem. It's really, coming back to that image of the storyteller sitting around the campfires of the world, dipping into and weaving the story of humanity, in the most beautiful, mellifluous language. So kudos to you, sir! Thirty years were not wasted. If anybody listening has contacts to NASA..." —Miriam Knight
"I was so impressed with The Parliament of Poets. ...I love the vision of Apollo calling all poets and wise people to the moon to debate the meaning of modernity. I mean it's such a contemporary question and it's so deliciously wrapped in history and culture, and the poet, the persona character, he travels many journeys to find the answers to the meaning of modernity. ...so the vision, essentially, is one of a global vision. ...an amazing, wonderful book." —Julie Clayton
Listen to (Skip BBC NEWS) "FREDERICK GLAYSHER in conversation about his great epic poem of startling originality and universal significance, THE PARLIAMENT OF POETS, which is ingeniously enriching the canon of 'literary epics' while in every way partaking of the nature of world literature. ...a truly universal epic." —Dr. Hans-George Ruprecht, CKCU Literary News, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. June 2013. Includes two excerpts from The Parliament of Poets: An Epic Poem. Also available direct from my server Here 26 minutes (Skip BBC).
"With his new book, THE PARLIAMENT OF POETS, Frederick GLAYSHER is in a creative dialog with the greatest epic poets of all time. He is bringing together in beautiful verse form, tending, as he writes 'to the iambic pentameter, depending on thought and need', diverse visions of humanity from all over the world. Frederick Glaysher's poetic imagination is frequently casting them in the form of spatial and cosmic imagery. That is very exalting to the reader's spirit. What is more, in reading his new book one is not only compassing, beyond the horizon of empirical facts, a borderless world, but one is also beholding the 'oneness' of humankind in a different light. • 'The Parliament of Poets' (Earthrise Press, 2012) by Frederick Glaysher is a pure joy; embodied in a literary work of fine verbal art, it is contemporary 'world literature' at its best." —Dr. Hans-George Ruprecht, CKCU Literary News, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. August 6, 2013. — a Radio CKCU/Literary News 'encore' 26 minutes (Skip BBC).
London > Epic Poetry Reading. Colourful Radio, with Lester Holloway (London morning drive time). February 5, 2014. Reading a short excerpt set in London, outside Westminster Abbey, a British Parliament of Poets! 5 minutes
Other Interviews Here and in The Myth of the Enlightenment: Essays.
Epic Poetry Reading
From the beginning of Book I, in medias res.
The Birmingham Unitarian Church (UU), Birmingham, Michigan, April 6, 2013.
Like a story "around a campfire." —From the Audience.
Poetry Reading from Into the Ruins: Poems, Birmingham Unitarian Church. March 31, 2014.
A New Consciousness on this Planet, Expanded Consciousness New essay/review October 30, 2014
"As a young poet I read George B. Leonard's book The Transformation: A Guide to the Inevitable Changes in Humankind, in 1972, when it first came out. He was the vice-president of the Esalen Institute and one of the most articulate and far-sighted persons in the then emerging human potential movement on the West Coast. It's not an exaggeration to say I devoured his book, reading and rereading it. Unfortunately, Leonard's book has perhaps somewhat fallen off the map, but it still speaks insightfully to the core problems of today, the need for a new sense of human consciousness on this planet..."
In the tradition of Maecenas and Can Grande della Scala, if you think well of my essays and poetry that I make available here and on my blog, please donate what you can.