Interview. Kerrytown BookFest, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Interview. Kerrytown BookFest, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
September 11, 2016.

Like many people in our country, I grew up in a family of several Christian denominations and secular outlook. One of my earliest memories is a family gathering at which everyone was fighting and arguing, my mother exclaiming, “Enough! We’re here to celebrate the holiday as a family!” Her wisdom has often come back to me as the years have gone by.

Despite our current culture wars, America really began in pluralism and has always been evolving beyond exclusivism, toward universality, the most profound symbol of which is  the image of Earthrise from the Moon, the great symbol of our time.

At the deepest spiritual level all of the great religious and wisdom traditions agree. To solve the crises that confront us, we human beings on this planet must rediscover the spiritual vision and teachings of human oneness and unity that can bring us together and heal the traumas and conflicts of modernity. On the Moon, I believe that is possible. My hope has always been that, through an imaginative Journey, a shaman’s tale for our time, if you will, through a global epic poem, it might just be possible to help humanity heal enough to make the difference, contribute, help, at least, to encourage a peaceful vision of life on this planet.

Frederick Glaysher

“Very intrigued by his background. I’m extremely impressed with the quality and depth of the writing. So well written. It’s almost like a stepping stone into all this world lit that people might otherwise never touch.”  Youtu.be/YDaPs1dGS4c

Epic Poetry Interview, Frederick Glaysher, Kerrytown BookFest, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Sept. 11, 2016. R. J. Fox, Interviewer and English teacher at Huron High School, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

 

 

In silhouette, Frederick Glaysher reading from Into the Ruins: Poems, The Bower of Nil: A Narrative Poem, and The Parliament of Poets: An Epic Poem. Saginaw Valley State University (SVSU), Michigan. International Book Fair. South Asian Students Association. October 28, 2016. 19 minutes.

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For Fancy Reigns in That Estate

Frederick Glaysher

Frederick Glaysher

The notion has been raised that my poetry is about “ideas.” I assure my readers that there are, in that sense, no “ideas” in my poetry, for it has been my life-long ambition that Fancy, that highest form of epistemology, might reign in that estate, as in the great epics around the world, East and West, Cervantes’s Don Quixote or Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels.

Alas, we human beings are dying all around the world because of “ideas”! So, I said to myself, let us journey to the Moon, beyond the world of “ideas…”

Yet in another sense, if you’re really interested in knowing where my “ideas” come from, I invite you to read my five literary books, which together represent more than forty years of study of Western and world literature, world religions, history, and philosophy. In The Grove of the Eumenides, I concentrated especially on the rise of nihilism in modern culture and its spread around the globe, ending with essays looking to the future, on the United Nations and epic poetry. My study for that book forms the foundation of my epic poem, while much of The Myth of the Enlightenment was written concurrently with my epic and was where I resolved many issues, as I wrote my way through it.

When I was in about my mid-twenties, I had decided that I would follow the example of Virgil, who wrote three books, two often thought of as leading up to his epic poem. When I had looked around at many of the “prominent” poets back then, I felt that I didn’t want to write thirty or seventy books of lyric poetry but, as they say, “cast all my lot on one book.” And so my two books of poetry are where I very much felt that I was developing the ability that I needed to write an epic poem, by writing lyrics that developed my voice and sense of language, grappling with what seemed to me the “ruins” of the 20th Century, Into the Ruins, along with a number of dramatic monologues in which I first experimented with “putting on the mask,” of a character, and speaking through personae. With The Bower of Nil, I surveyed Western philosophy and Buddhism in Japan, speaking through a few characters in a dramatic book-length narrative poem, telling a story of an academic philosopher and his family, with wider symbolic implications.

In broad outline, this is how I thought and think of my own personal journey toward writing The Parliament of Poets: An Epic Poem. I invite you to make the Journey and read my four other literary books, which should help you understand what my “ideas” really are and their sources.

Last year I also discussed my development as a poet in “My Odyssey as an Epic Poet: Interview with Frederick Glaysher,” with Arthur McMaster, Contributing Editor, Department of English, Converse College, in Poets’ Quarterly (Spring 2015). ” You might find it of further help in understanding the sources of my ideas.

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Ann Arbor Book Festival – June 18, 2016

 

Ann Arbor Book Festival

Ann Arbor Book Festival

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I enjoyed participating in the Ann Arbor Book Festival on June 18, 2016, and appreciate everyone who stopped by, just chatted,  as well as bought books. I hope you enjoy your Journey to the Moon… It was a pleasure to sign my epic poem for a number of people.

I’m looking forward to repeating the experience next year!

Frederick Glaysher

1 A2 Book Festival Kinko jpg300

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Review: Envisions a Unified World

The_Globe200Envisions a Unified World —Bob Dixon-Kolar, Assistant Professor of English, College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, Illinois
April 28, 2016

“To those coming to The Parliament of Poets without having read other things by Glaysher (such as his essays or other poems), let me point out that the author identifies at a deep soul-level with the world-renowned poets who inhabit his contemporary epic. His book is an intellectual achievement, yes. But it is much more than that—it is the artistic culmination of a long spiritual journey.

Glaysher’s alter-ego in the epic (Persona) encounters Ralph Waldo Emerson and implores him,

‘Tell me how to go on from here, how to raise
a universal song For All Mankind,
as universal as the morning wind.’

This, as I understand it, is Glaysher’s heart-felt desire. If you choose to read The Parliament of Poets—and I hope that you will!—know that you are reading a devotional work of a poet-seer, one who yearns for and envisions a unified world in which spiritual verities draw all people together.”

Frederick Glaysher

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