“An old man welcomes the Persona to Angkor Wat, Cambodia, guiding him across the bridge and through and around the galleries. Bayon. The Killing Fields. Bagan, Burma, Valley of a Thousand Temples. Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, ferries the Persona over Tibet to Dunhuang in the far northwest of China. ”
A rustle and a parting of leaves, an old man
stepped out of the jungle, a little frail,
thin and short, walked toward me, saying,
“Ah, so you are the Poet of the Moon.”
As I’ve journeyed through Angkor Wat and Cambodia, the antinomies have further clarified, on numerous fronts, including modernity. Broadly speaking, I can now see as never before the three major traditions of exclusivism and those of non-exclusivism in sharper detail, contrast, and comparison. That wasn’t really my intention, so I’m surprised that it’s happened. Partly, I think, it’s in the material itself. The attempt to find and give it form brought it all out.
So there are vistas I’ve never realized before. As with Hinduism, the complexities and teachings of Buddhism have been fascinating to study once again, its various interpretations and flavors. Another surprise has been that the Internet has proven an invaluable tool for study and for finding the right historical nuance and detail, especially on the more human level of lived thought and belief, opening the antinomies ever deeper into the soul.
Though only on the way to Dunhuang, now in Bagan, Burma, I look forward to the Mogao Caves, visiting them again, as with Chang-an, and Japan. Saigyo shall guide me back to his great metaphor.
Beyond in medias res, the Persona traveled on through India, from the field of Kurukshetra to Shiva Nataraja, Kabir, and the epic struggles of the Ramayana. Hanuman has guided me now to Angkor Wat. From there the Persona shall walk with the elders and ride the greater ferry to Dunhuang and China, on to Korea and Japan.
Though daunted by the immensity of the trip before me, I trust my guides shall sustain me through the jungles and mountains and deserts. They have brought me thus far, cannot fail me now.
ANN ARBOR—On September 22, 29, and October 6, the theatre company, Apollo’s Troupe, will stage the theater adaptation of the poem, The Parliament of Poets, written by Michigan poet Frederick Glaysher and published in 2012 by Earthrise Press. Continue reading →