At my writing desk, June 21, 2012, putting the last touches to BOOK III for the Summer Serialization
Book III of The Parliament of Poets: An Epic Poem is now available:
BOOK III, THE ARGUMENT:
“Japara and the Persona return to the moon. The Parliament of Poets resumes. The nay-saying druid questions the fitness of the Persona, many rallying to his defense. The dark pit. The journey from Earth to the Moon. A flight with the birds of paradise and the poet Robert Hayden. Twin towers of ascending light. The Nine Muses and Lord Apollo. What is woman?”
My reading from the fifth draft of my epic poem The Parliament of Poets at the Albany Word Fest, Saturday, April 21, 2012, in Albany, New York, at the Albany Public Library. Copyright (c) 2012 Frederick Glaysher. From Book III, still on earth, in the midst of things… the birds and hoopoe, and so forth.
Frederick Glaysher, Albany Word Fest, April 21, 2012
Reading is reading is eReading. And then I have afterthoughts. It is different. I “access” it in a different way. It feels different. Personally speaking, I wouldn’t want to read every book in digital format. Cover and paper weight have an aesthetic feel to them that steel and aluminum can’t provide. The leather case for the Sony Reader helps, but it’s still different.
Yet I found myself fully immersed in Cervantes’ imaginative world. The allegory took over and pulled me into it, as I eagerly suspended my disbelief. All the cliches about reading were just as true. I escaped from the harshness of reality into the perfection of an ideal world, relishing the delights of his intellect and humor.
Since I’ve read so many ebooks now on electronic devices than I can even recall, I continue to be surprised when I come across protestations against ereading. Even educated readers can be resistant to the idea that there is “no difference,” yet ereading is just as intellectually exciting, rewarding, invigorating, and capable of changing my consciousness.
Is all that self-evident? There are a lot of people resisting the notion… the experience.
I suppose my point is that the quality of the reading experience is or can be every bit as deep and reflective as with a physical book. One needn’t feel one has betrayed books and letters by admitting as much. Far from that, it is the experience that counts, and the cultivation of consciousness that only reading can provide.
Physically, there’s a qualitative difference; intellectually, reading is reading is eReading.
Author of Don Quixote, Cervantes wrote Journey to Parnassus in 1614, about four years before he died. I’ve wanted to read this book for the last year or more. I had searched antiquarian bookstores online but discovered the only translation of it was in 1883, and they wanted, if memory serves, about $200 for it. Beyond what I could afford. But I kept thinking about it and searching for it once in a while. To my surprise, about a month ago, I stumbled on it on Google Books. They had scanned it in from the graduate library at the University of Michigan, where I was a student, long, long ago. What a thrill finding it. I’ve had to process the copy a little to get it to load on the 4×6 inch screen of my Sony Reader, but better than my laptop. And worth the effort. It allowed me really to be drawn much deeper into his imaginative world…
Cervantes uses the journey motif in a fascinating, humorous way to survey and lambast or applaud Spanish poets of his day and earlier. Somewhat similar to Czeslaw Milosz’s A Treatise on Poetry and other such works. Ultimately, though, it’s a self-serving work, as the genre is, and therefore of a lesser order. Nevertheless, it’s a fine work that ought to be better known in the English reading world.
The text is bilingual, allowing me to dip into the Spanish a little, which I enjoyed.
Apollo calls all the poets of the nations, ancient and modern, East and West, to assemble on the moon to consult on the meaning of modern life. The Parliament of Poets sends the main character, the Poet of the Moon, on a Journey to the seven continents to learn from all of the spiritual and […]