Review by Nana Fredua-Agyeman, Accra, Ghana, Africa. ImageNations.
The Parliament of Poets (2012) is a 294-page epic poem by Frederick Glaysher, which has the moon as its setting and deals with important issues such as science and religion, the current consumerist approach to our economics, profiteering and capitalism, gradual wearing away of morality and spirituality, wars, hunger, general deprivation, race, and more. It is a poem in twelve parts or Books. This review shall be restricted to Book I, which deals with the general issues covered in the individual books, and Book XI, which involves the persona’s visit to Africa and involves Achebe’s character in Arrow of God, the Priest Ezeulu.
As already stated the setting of this epic poem is the moon, specifically, the Apollo 11 landing site. The gathering of ancient and modern poets from both East and West was called by the Greek god Apollo and the Nine Muses. The main subject for discussion is the meaning of modernity and modern day nihilism. Several poets are gathered: Cervantes, Du Fu, Li Po, Vyasa, Tagore, Basho, Saigyo, Rumi, Attar, Shakespeare, Samuel Johnson, Keats, Wordsworth, Jane Austen, African griots and shamans, Balla Fasseke, Merlin, Job, and others. Before these gathering of awe-exuding poets stood the persona – The Poet of the Moon….
…a beautiful poem that falls off the tongue smoothly. …an excellent piece of poetry.”