The Parliament of Poets is For All Mankind, East and West, North and South, to consider and ascend to a new vision of life, what it means to be a human being on this planet, meditate on the great image of the world, Earthrise, above the lunar crust, summoning us to realize we are but One People, inhabiting a whirling rock, flying together through the starry cosmos.
The deficient theories of much of the current American university–a corrupt and decadent institution that has betrayed much of the humane traditions of civilization in favor of “theory,” and other cynical, nihilistic banality, full of bemoaning resentment and triviality–the pernicious theories of deconstruction, and their like, have had a devastating impact on Western, indeed, world civilization, as they have gone around the globe.
One of the symptoms of modern intellectual decadence is its inability to perceive its own diminished state of affairs. Another is that it passes on its decline, increasingly, into the heads of its students, who are unable to perceive and understand what they’re being fed. Triviality, banality, frivolity, become ever more accepted, along with the dregs of nihilism, the lowest, crudest skepticism and cynicism of popular culture, which strictly speaking in no way constitutes culture, but its demise. Such is what the modern, contemporary American university, by and large, especially the English department, offers the young and impressionable, putty in the hands of the unworthy clerks of modernity, as Julien Benda so right understood.
Epic song does not stoop so low, as the American academy now regularly grovels, in obeisance to its contemptible theories. Epic song raises a new vision for the people, for the culture, helps renew and clarify what is the deepest, most profound vision that is already forming, independent of the poet and the poem, global now, inviting the people to a new way forward. The very nature of epic poetry is that it reassesses the prevailing order and articulates a fresh vision of life, already rising on the foundations of the past.
Along these lines, see my post on The American Scholar.