Somehow I missed this review online in August, 2016, just stumbling on it now. A pleasure to find… a thoughtful engagement.
“I will definitely be checking out more of his work in the future (Parliament of Poets looks good). This book deals with many of the horrors and terrors of the long 20th century, and in many ways chastises the poets of this period for not finding an effective way to confront that horror.”
“…this book is quite good. It is well laid out, and does what so few collection of poems do– that is build an argument or overall claim. There are short pieces that deal with the visceral horrors of conflict, relying on powerful imagery, and then longer drawn out philosophical pieces that culminate what Glaysher has been saying.”
“The result is a collection that makes shorter, powerful jabs, followed by a prolonged punch. The reader is therefore left with the power of the poetry as the poems build on each other in rapid succession. Well written, thought out, and containing a clear purpose, I highly recommend Into the Ruins and look forward to reading Glaysher’s other works.” —Wes Bishop, Goodreads
For a selection of poems from Into the Ruins, see the first half of my poetry reading at Hannan Cafe, November 3, 2015.
At the Birmingham Unitarian Church, March 31, 2014, I read another poem from Into the Ruins, “The Crowned Maitreya,” the Buddha of the Future, Japan’s national treasure, housed in Kyoto at Koryu-ji Temple.
Envisions 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.”
In higher education the political and partisan battles, so hardened, are of less concern to me than the ideological ones, which run deeper, to my mind. Genuine openness to debate is what often gets crushed out of existence in my experience of English departments.
The “culture wars,” as so often construed on “both sides,” amount to too narrow a slice of human experience, in my view, which is much of the problem. The culture of the humanities is deadlocked in narrow terms and thinking. I think too that the humanities today have become based on a far too limited conception of the humanities, in our extremely fragmented society, accepting a meta-narrative, an ideology, that actually works against the humanities, while closing off to other views of life that might help reinvigorate them and help reach people more broadly with the serious reflection that the liberal arts at their best are capable of offering.
Human experience is much deeper and profound than what the humanities have come to allow in our time, creating a disharmony that has deeply damaged itself and contemporary culture. One often hears the underlying fear implicit in the humanities as a backward movement to fundamentalism, Christian or otherwise, as though there were no other possibilities. Academic secular formalism and nihilism, however, are just fine, and almost invariably the prescribed ideology.
The ideological issues at stake on *both sides* are flawed, neither allowing a full debate, since each is stuck in categories of thought grounded in exclusivism. Following Jacques Barzun’s From Dawn to Decadence, I believe the extreme polarization of our time is what’s the most telling, though disturbing, fact, and is the clearest evidence of decadence, exactly what the humanities today so rarely considers, conceiving and caricaturing it again only in terms redolent of right-wing Christian fundamentalism.
My argument isn’t against the university or what is salutary from the Enlightenment, but to point out the flaws on all sides and the way we can make relatively modest adjustments in our thinking and culture that would help resolve our endemic crises. Unfortunately, in my experience, the humanities remain closed off to any real debate, virtually guaranteeing their continuing decline.
I feel saddened by what’s happened to the humanities. It’s partly why for the past forty years I’ve continued to study and write my poetry and essays… struggling for, I’d like to think, a whole new way of looking at modern experience and our many problems. The difficulty that I’ve had is finding capable readers willing to consider a serious literary and cultural vision other than what’s become dominant. Seeking unity in a time of extreme fragmentation, I constantly run up against the experience of one syllable closing minds on all sides. Eventually, it drove me to the moon…
Now free shipping in the USA, UK, and Australia, processed within 24 hours. That amounts to more than 911 million potential readers of English of the world’s approximately 1.8+ billion speakers of English. Printers also in Milton Keynes, UK, and Scoresby, Australia. In Europe and the UK, the VAT is added at checkout. DRM-free eBooks, hardcover, and softcover.
I think I’ve reached a new threshold with my more than a decade and a half of struggling with the Post-Gutenberg Revolution in what is now a major technical improvement for EarthrisePress.Net — I’ve long thought that there must be a way in the Digital Age for artists and writers to make a living from their art in some way by going around all the traditional middle men and the newer mega-portals of online sellers that are attempting to create their own monopolies. In fact, I wrote a more than twenty-page essay, “The Post-Gutenberg Revolution: A Manifesto,” to this effect, in my book The Myth of the Enlightenment, which expands on all of what I think is involved in this major shift in civilization.
Previously, I had to sell hardcover and softcover books through one credit card payment system and ebooks through another, which was cumbersome and discouraging for people buying more than one book. But Gumroad, a very creative venture in San Francisco, has recently put the two features together which also allows me to plug into the major worldwide printing network of Ingram Book Company’s Lightning Source for the fulfillment and printing of hardcover and softcover books.
I’m rather astonished that I can now do this… all from one website… whether someone orders an ebook, a hardcover, or a softcover on EarthrisePress.Net, Gumroad’s SSL servers handle the financial transaction, adds the correct VAT for the UK, Euro Zone, and Australia. If it is a printed book, Gumroad processes the order, forwarding the shipping address to Earthrise Press and then I or my staff can order and have the book printed and shipped in any of the already mentioned regions with *free shipping* since the numbers work for everyone concerned with this configuration. Many people have become accustomed to buying music and books from the mega-portals, but why? I would say there was no real alternative. Now there is, precisely what some musicians have done with their own websites, and J. K. Rowling with at least her ebook website.
The exact same printed or digital book goes out into the hands of the reader, in several possible formats, mobi/Kindle, ePub, PDF, Android / iOS, etc., hardcover, softcover, whatever. Given all the animosity around the world against some of the major venues, I believe this might very well be a way of providing an alternative for artists and writers, and, not to forget, readers, who don’t want to support a monopoly…
I have long believed what’s needed is the *example* of a writer who figures all this out and puts it together in the actual world on a *global* level, setting the *example* of what is indeed now possible… by actually doing it. I wrote my epic poem with a global audience in mind, and now I believe it is possible to sell it to the entire world through the revolutionary developments of the Post-Gutenberg Age.
I’m encouraged that, as someone who has spent most of his adult life sitting in rooms alone reading books, my epic has found its way to as many readers as it has around the world… with more than 36 blurb/reviews since late November 2012.
I know it often took in the past a long time for a book that presented a truly new way of looking at life to *reach humanity* and realize I shouldn’t entirely expect anything else, all the more given that I’m addressing not merely Western Civilization but all of the major regional civilizations around the planet. We human beings are inured to our nationalistic isolation. The Unity of humanity? What could be more absurd!!