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2016 Reviews and Excerpts To-Date

2016 Reviews and Excerpts To-Date 

The Parliament of Poets: An Epic Poem - Reviews, Excerpts

The Parliament of Poets: An Epic Poem – Reviews, Excerpts

January 25, 2016. Excerpts from The Society of Classical Poets > “To put this in context, in my view the last complete and true epic poem in the English Language was Paradise Lost written by John Milton in the 17th century, and apart from that poem there are only two others: the anonymous Beowulf from old English, and the unfinished Faerie Queen by Edmund Spenser from the 16th century. Don Juan, by Byron [unfinished], is perhaps a true mock epic and apart from that the only poet since Milton who has come remotely close to writing in the epic style is Keats with his two sublime, but unfinished and maybe unfinishable (even had he lived), Hyperion fragments…
This brings us to the 20th century and all the phoney poets (Brits and Americans alike) claiming to write epics, “modern epics,” but doing no such thing. The most egregious example of this would be Ezra Pound and his Cantos: unreadable and undecipherable rubbish masquerading as a work of genius in the manner we are nowadays too familiar with in conceptual art and music. Indeed, only two types of people ever read the Cantos: university professors who make a career out of untangling it; and wannabe poets who write just like that (except of course completely differently – solipsism smears the pane in its own way: there’s a brown smudge, but here’s a green stain) and naturally vote for models justifying their own inanities. (As for modern epics of the “human mind” – beginning Wordsworth, Whitman et al. – these, despite their odd purple patches, seem extended and tedious forms of narcissism)… The true epics delight all intelligent peoples throughout the ages because they speak to them in a language they can understand even when that language is “elevated.”
What is extraordinary, however, is the language, and so the style… One fabulous quality of this poem is its clarity and luminous quality. I love the fact that despite the wide ranging topographical and lexical references this poem is easy to understand and follow: it is a poet writing for people, not one trying to be clever, and not one concealing their lack of poetry in obfuscation.
There is actually a lot of humour in the poem. Thematically, too, it is epic: it is about the survival of the human race, despite—Dante-like—facing the full horrors of human history.
I take the view, therefore, and surprisingly to myself, that Glaysher is really an epic poet and this is an epic poem! One can hardly congratulate him enough, then, on this achievement, since it has been so long awaited…  Glaysher has written a masterpieceI strongly recommend Frederick Glaysher’s poem and hope he will find a larger readership for it.” —James Sale (UK), The Society of Classical Poets (2,272 words)
https://classicalpoets.org/review-the-parliament-of-poets-by-frederick-glaysher-earthrise-press-2012/

A remarkable poem by a uniquely inspired poet, taking us out of time into a new and unspoken consciousness…” —Kevin Mcgrath, Poet, Lowell House, South Asian Studies, Harvard University

Mr. Glaysher has written an epic poem of major importance… Truly a major accomplishment and contribution to American LettersA landmark achievement Mr. Glaysher. Bravo!” —ML Liebler, Poet and Senior Lecturer, Department of English, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan

“It’s very contemporary, in some ways, and very much old school… This is really some cool stuff, I have to say, and I’m not just saying that, just to say it. It really is, and when you hear some of his epic poetry and poetry, hopefully you’ll agree and want to grab a copy of The Parliament of Poets. If you’ve done any study of classic epic poetry, this fits the bill. And don’t let that turn you away. It’s really good stuff.” M. L. Liebler, Poet and Senior Lecturer, Department of English, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan (At my reading from Into the Ruins: Poems and The Parliament of Poets: An Epic Poem. November 30, 2015. Hosted by M. L. Liebler. Funded by Poets & Writers, Inc. Poets & Pies Series: Special Holiday Edition. Hannan Cafe. Off campus at Wayne State University.  YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLUhnbp4QVs)

A great epic poem of startling originality and universal significance . . . in every way partaking of the nature of world literature.” Dr. Hans-George Ruprecht, CKCU Literary News, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada

And a fine major work it is.” Arthur McMaster, Department of English, Converse College, Spartanburg, South Carolina, Contributing Editor, Poets’ Quarterly (Spring 2015), in “My Odyssey as an Epic Poet: Interview with Frederick Glaysher.”

“This Great Poem promises to be the defining Epic of the Age and will be certain to endure for many Centuries. Frederick Glaysher uses his great Poetic and Literary Skills in an artistic way that is unique for our Era and the Years to come. I strongly recommend this book to all those who enjoy the finest Poetry. A profound spiritual message for humanity.” —Alan Jacobs, Poet Writer Author,Amazon UK Review, London, UK

Am in awe of its brillianceEveryone must read this book.” —Anodea Judith, Novato, California, Amazon Review

Don’t be intimidated by an epic poem. It’s really coming back to that image of the storyteller sitting around the campfires of the world, dipping into and weaving the story of humanity, in the most beautiful, mellifluous language.”Miriam Knight, Portland, Oregon, New Consciousness Reviewradio

Very readable and intriguingly enjoyable. Frederick Glaysher’s hours of dedication have produceda masterpiece that will stand the test of time.” —Poetry Cornwall, No.36, England

“An attempt to merge the sciences and the humanities to reach a greater understanding of the human condition. …the poetry and language is rather beautiful. it’s really very readable.” Chris Hislop, Savage, London, UK

A uniquely powerful work.” —Spirituality Today, UK

The Parliament of Poets carried me on the journey of Universality and All is One with the melodic rhythm only poetry can bring. Everyone needs to take this visit to the moon and look about the universe and all that it encompasses with the Awe with which it deserves! read this magnificent epic that will raise your eyes to the sky and wonder how someone could capture it all so well!” —Cheryl B. Duttweiler, Fernandina Beach, Florida, Amazon Review

Bravo to the Poet for this toilsome but brilliant endeavour.” Umme Salma, Transnational Literature, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia

“But possibly even the ambition of these [Odysseus Elytis and Derek Walcott] is dwarfed by what is attempted here.” Graham Mummery, Amazon UK Review

“An impassioned plea on behalf of humanity that reaches down and grabs the human longing for the Awakened Heart. …a very important book for our time.” Tina Benson, California, Amazon Review

“An exquisitely rendered epic poem that weaves ancient and contemporary vision into the heart of modern darkness and the light of eternal hope… For this reader it was like being enfolded into a glorious, celestial, orchestral song in which every instrument is finely tuned, timed, and vital to the whole, with different melodies coming together as a single motion to do something none of them could do alone… The Parliament of Poets is a worthy literary masterpiece… Once read, you know your life was impoverished without it.” Julie Clayton, Portland, Oregon, New Consciousness Review

“I especially enjoyed Don Quixote’s cameo appearances. Bravo. A fine and enjoyable read.” —Marylee MacDonald, Tempe, Arizona, Amazon Review

“It only takes the first few paragraphs of this modern epic poem to feel the mental gush of ideas,fascinating juxtapositionings, and unique symbolism for our time.” Dave Gordon, The Jewish Post and News of Winnipeg, Canada

Beautiful book.” Dr. Catherine Al-Meten, Portland, Oregon, The Examiner

Beautiful poem. an excellent piece of poetry.” —Nana Fredua-Agyeman, Ghana, Africa,ImageNations

“The main story is an interesting proposition, that maybe it is poets and philosophers, rather than activists and politicians, who can ultimately help transform this world into something better.” —Mr. P. J. Morris, Amazon UK

“Brilliant writing! I’m in awe… A perfect Christmas gift. But, buyer beware, you’ll want it for yourself! Bravo. Well done.” Michele Ficano, Las Vegas, Nevada, Amazon Review

AWESOME BOOK!! This was ordered as a gift and I have to admit I had a hard time letting it go! Highly recommend both the book and the seller!” Stanleys Mom, Amazon Review

Awesome is not a grand enough word to describe the timeless brilliance of these words.”Donna Surles, Florida, Amazon Review

“This masterful work goes well beyond the norm for literature of any type… Quite simply a masterpiece…” —Marv Borgman, Prattville, Alabama, Amazon Review

Longer excerpts below…

A great epic poem of startling originality and universal significance, ingeniously enriching the canon of ‘literary epics’ while in every way partaking of the nature of world literature. Glaysher is in a creative dialog with the greatest epic poets of all time. He is bringing together in beautiful verse form diverse visions of humanity from all over the world, frequently casting them in the form of spatial and cosmic imagery. A pure joy. Contemporary ‘world literature’ at its best.” Dr. Hans-George Ruprecht, CKCU Literary News, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada

“I’m not kidding! Get this book by Frederick Glaysher ASAP! Mr. Glaysher has written an epic poem of major importance that is guaranteed to bring joy and an overwhelming sense of beauty and understanding to readers who will travel the space ways with this exquisite poet. While the poem reads like the classic poetry of Milton, it has the contemporary edge of genius modernity. I am truly awed by this poet’s use of epic poetry that today’s readers will connect with, enjoy and savor every word, every line and every section. Frederick Glaysher is a master poet who knows his craft from the inside out, and this is really truly a major accomplishment and contribution to American Letters. Jump in. Taste and see if what I say (and many others are saying) about this tome is not the truth. Once you enter, you will not stop until the end. A landmark achievement Mr. Glaysher. Bravo!” —ML Liebler, Poet and Senior Lecturer, Department of English, Wayne State University, Amazon Review

“I’ve only just gotten ahold of this book and am in awe of its brilliance. Food for the soul, and answers to humanity’s most pressing problems, right where they belong, in the epic poetry of all the teachers, magicians, prophets, shamans, and poets of all time… Bravo, bravo, bravo. Everyone must read this book.” —Anodea Judith, Novato, California, Amazon Review

“In the classic epic poem, the hero suffers many challenges, meets many obstacles, and experienceswhat Joseph Campbell described as the Hero’s journey… A hero must meet obstacles, and in the case of the Persona, the obstacles are both internal and externalvery Jungian is our hero. The quest for individuation or the coming together in wholeness, is evident as we, the readers/listeners follow the trials and travels of our hero. Beautiful book.” Dr. Catherine Al-Meten, Portland, Oregon, The Examiner

The purpose of the spiritual journey of the Poet of the Moon is to seek deliverance of the modern human from the captivity of nothingness, nihilism and atheism, and from the resulting chaos and chasm of soul. From the versatile he gets scores of life-affirming lessons, yet the core meaning of all is that the Supreme Being as well as the earth is one, and so human beings are one nation irrespective of their clan, class, color, race, religion and gender. In this earth human beings are part of the Great Mystery’s creation and their duty is to keep the balance and harmony of the universe, to achieve union, to choose sacrifice, and to be self-controlled. In this manner Glaysher sings the song of ‘one Earth, without borders, Mother Earth, her embrace encircling one people, humankind’ (19)…. The lucid and placid feet of the language moves deftly and smoothly from the beginning up to the last line of the poem. Bravo to the Poet for this toilsome but brilliant endeavour.” Umme Salma, International Islamic University, Department of English Language and Literature, Chittagong, Bangladesh, in Transnational Literature Vol. 7 no. 1, November 2014, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia
https://dspace.flinders.edu.au/jspui/bitstream/2328/35084/1/Salma_Parliament.pdf

The Parliament of Poets is an exquisitely rendered epic poem that weaves ancient and contemporary vision into the heart of modern darkness and the light of eternal hope…. For this reader it was like being enfolded into a glorious, celestial, orchestral song in which every instrument is finely tuned, timed, and vital to the whole, with different melodies coming together as a single motion to do something none of them could do alone…. ‘Always the world awaits the poet who can find the right words, more so now than ever,’ says Tolstoy, final words of counsel to the Persona after his many crossings. In this book are such words, and the author, like Gandhi, must surely be ‘wrapped in selfless practice’—dedicating thirty years of his life to finding them on our behalf. The Parliament of Poets is a worthy literary masterpiece, the author a curator of the human story, the book a living cultural artifact.Once read, you know your life was impoverished without it.” Julie Clayton, Portland, Oregon, New Consciousness Review, and Amazon Review

It only takes the first few paragraphs of this modern epic poem to feel the mental gush of ideas, fascinating juxtapositionings, and unique symbolism for our time…. The reader travels with the epic poem’s narrator, and hero, the Persona, exploring their journey throughout the seven continents – and transcending space and time – in order to acquire wisdom from mankind. In the case of the Persona, much of the struggle and the obstacles relate to whether or not he can find his way, or know himself. It is perhaps not a surprise, then, that The Parliament of Poets discusses a cross-cultural milieu, especially given Glaysher’s vast and varied experiences in his own life.”Dave Gordon, The Jewish Post and News of Winnipeg; Landmark Report (Toronto reprint) Canada

“What attracted me was the ambition in this work, which attempts to look at what poetic traditions, ancient and modern might have to offer to a world which perhaps has lost touch with its spiritual and ecological centre of gravity… But possibly even the ambition of these [Odysseus Elytis and Derek Walcott] is dwarfed by what is attempted here. …he is attempting to unify lessons from many traditions, eastern and western, and there are references to many poets from English language ones to ones from places as diverse as China, India, Mexico and Poland, as well as many times. This is an attempt to fuse a truly global vision drawing on many poetic traditions
“This is a highly stimulating read. The range of reading on display is impressive. It is refreshing to see poetry with a mission, and a suggested role in the modern world. This work is an impressive intellectual as well as visionary feat as well as being poetic. It will certainly be of interest to those of a philosophical, poetic and visionary frame of mind. …I will be getting a book version of this work. There is much to ponder on here as well as to relish.” Graham Mummery, Amazon UK Review

The Parliament of Poets is one of the most important books of our time. In this grand sweeping epic, Glaysher has managed to live up to the task given to him by The Parliament of Poets. …a new vision for humanity; one of Unity and Oneness of humankind. …synthesizing and integrating the great thinkers of all time. …a tangible vision of our shared humanity. …an impassioned plea that we WAKE UP before we destroy ourselves and our one precious planet. …an inspired epic that integrates the ancient wisdom teachings of the world’s greatest wisdom teachers and poets. …a new vision and sense of responsibility towards our shared humanity. An impassioned plea on behalf of humanity that reaches down and grabs the human longing for the Awakened Heart.Tina Benson,Amazon Review; Goodreads, California

“The plot follows a poet (presumably Glaysher himself, hinted at in the title of “Persona”), taken magically to the Moon, where a collection of the world’s greatest poets have assembled a parliament to consult on the “meaning of modernity”. …an attempt to merge the sciences and the humanities to reach a greater understanding of the human condition. …the poetry and language is rather beautiful. Glaysher has grasped epic poetry’s rhythms and cadences, favouring an iambic meter to create a pleasant, rolling pace to the piece. …it’s really very readable.” Chris Hislop, Savageonline, London, UK

“The power of a mythological tale is interwoven into the fabric of its narrative. The crescendo that builds, and which ultimately leads the reader to its climax of revelation, is the key ingredient that makes the epic poem so seductive as a literary form. With this in mind I shall not comment overly on the story in The Parliament of Poets for fear of spoiling its essential spiritual message and core dynamic for potential readers. This is more than simply trying to avoid ruining its ‘plotline’ or fear of introducing a ‘spoiler’ into the equation but is, instead, my way of safe-guarding the inherent esoteric value of the work for a reader – one which is invariably expressed within its whole rhythmic phrasing and textual structure….
“In this regard The Parliament of Poets – both as a story and as an independently-produced publication, is a success on many levels. It is a tale of, and about, our age of modernity and several contemporary themes have been woven into its narrative in such a way that remind us that perhaps the spiritual crisis humanity faces is an extension of the technological age that we now live in. On the other hand, the poem, it should be stated, is not without its odd flashes of humour and dry irony which, once again enriches its overall value as a dynamic and engaging piece of art rather than a dry academic exercise….
“This is a uniquely powerful work that introduces an established and powerful literary tradition to a world that is in desperate need of its essential rhythms and harmonies for spiritual sustenance.”Spirituality Today, UK

“The Parliament of Poets is, in the truest sense of the word, an epic poem. Whilst not grandiose in its execution it does deal with one of the greatest challenges to face humanity at this moment in its history – namely the desperate need for a spirituality context that serves humanity going forward. The style of the narrative is engaging and flows with colour and descriptive intent whilst not being overly ‘flowery’ in a way that so often befalls many other inspired poets. Indeed the story is grounded in contemporary issues and includes moments of humour and sardonic wit which are enjoyable. The main story is an interesting proposition, that maybe it is poets and philosophers, rather than activists and politicians, who can ultimately help transform this world into something better.” —Mr. P. J. Morris, Amazon UK

“Frederick Glaysher is truly a genius poet! The Parliament of Poets carried me on the journey of Universality and All is One with the melodic rhythm only poetry can bring. Everyone needs to take this visit to the moon and look about the universe and all that it encompasses with the Awe with which it deserves! I wish I had half the talent to express in poetic verse all the many perspectives and beliefs and visions that were incorporated in this book! It is so worth the time for each of us physically, emotionally, psychologically, mentally but even more spiritually to read this magnificent epic that will raise your eyes to the sky and wonder how someone could capture it all so well!Congratulations Frederick Glaysher….it was an honor to read this book!” —Cheryl B. Duttweiler, Fernandina Beach, Florida, Amazon Review

“A book for the upliftment of spirit…and purpose!! If you’re looking for inspiration, for the upliftment of your Spirit, for a meaningful connection with the direction of evolution as divinely guided by Unity Consciousness, for a sense of renewed and heightened purpose, read The Parliament of Poets by Frederick Glaysher. It will make your day, week, month, year…and Life!!” —Mike Schwager, Florida, Amazon Review

Frederick Glaysher has written a truly epic poem. Over a 30-year period, he crafted a story of history, archetypal energies, famous writers and poets from around the world, spiritual lessons, personal growth, adventure, and beauty. His writing takes you soaring across space and time, and his wealth of knowledge and wisdom shine through on every page. It makes me wish I could study at his feet, or that I could sit at his feet and listen to him weave this tale in person. ‘Look Inside’ and you’ll be hooked – just as I was.” —Lion Goodman, Marin County, California, Amazon Review

“It seems that an epic poem is just about the perfect container for works that provide insight, humor, and speculation about the bigger issues of life, and I’m so glad I found THE PARLIAMENT OF POETS. The poet’s narrator is a seeker, and he has sought to understand both the philosophies that have guided poets and sages, and to understand the Earth from the perspective of a narrator looking down on it from the moon. The narrator makes several trips through outer space and goes back and forth to the moon, as if he were an astronaut. That trope is, indeed, a vital part of this epic poem, a poem that asks us to gather our collective wisdom (as if we were Buzz Aldrins) and apply it to saving the planet and ourselves. The poem is, at times, amusing, serious, philosophical, lyrical, and entertaining. I especially enjoyed Don Quixote’s cameo appearances. Bravo. A fine and enjoyable read.” —Marylee MacDonald, Tempe, Arizona, Amazon Review

“Faced with great suffering and overwhelming obstacles, the journey of the hero is beautifully portrayed in this classic epic poem ‘The Parliament of Poets’ by Frederick Glaysher. Can poets and philosophers be the key to transformation of the world? Discover what happens when the greatest poets and philosophers that ever walked the Earth gather on the moon and create a new vision for humanity.” —Rebekah Rose, Amazon Review

“Glaysher…has shown…that with the right subject matter and the right language, one can create an epic poem even in today’s age. …a beautiful poem that falls off the tongue smoothly. All through this epic poem, the Poet of the Moon is addressing or discussing the Buddhist concept of Itai Doshin or the unity of the mind in the midst of diversity, which is also the concept that underpins theUbuntu philosophy, which translates into ‘I am, because we are’. …In effect the poet wants to see the unity of what he calls ‘false dichotomies’: science and religion, reason and intuition, material and spiritual, white and black, and others. …an excellent piece of poetry.” —Nana Fredua-Agyeman, Accra, Ghana, Africa, ImageNationsGoodreads

I found this book to be up to the standards set by Homer. …very thought provoking as it brings into question what humanity is doing to the Earth and each other.” —LibraryThing, USA

“Certainly wowed the crowd at the library with the performance and the words themselves.” —Albany Poets News, New York

Most of the contemporary poets and critics claim that epic is not suitable for our modern age. But Frederick Glaysher has proven them wrong… ‘The Parliament of Poets’ has all the grandeur, all the loftiness and qualities which make an ‘effort for an epic’ a ‘true epic.’ In essence, ‘The Parliament of Poets’ is a song of unity, an audacious declaration that unity does not mean conformity, it means being in harmony. The poet himself is the main character of this epic poem, who travels to the moon, meets a large number of great poets and writers of the world, comes back to earth to have some glimpses of bygone times. Throughout the entire journey, many poets, writers, sages guide the poet and share their invaluable knowledge and insights.” —Ratul Pal, Rajshahi, Bangladesh, Goodreads

AWESOME BOOK!! This was ordered as a gift and I have to admit I had a hard time letting it go! Highly recommend both the book and the seller!” Stanleys Mom, Amazon Review

“The poets that are identified in this fascinating book see a universal brotherhood….” —Amazon Review


Radio Interviews

NEW Radio Interview > 01/11/2015 Epic poet/visionary Frederick Glaysher… “Frederick Glaysher, he is the epic poet and visionary, and the author of two extraordinary books, The Myth of the Enlightenment and The Parliament of Poets. I recommend both.” Mike Schwager, The Enrichment Hour, POETRY, PEACE, ENLIGHTENMENT… Interview WSRadio 23 minutes.

August 5, 2014, by Miriam Knight and Julie Clayton, for the New Consciousness Review radio. Portland, Oregon. 27 minutes.
“You know how on space probes they have these little goodie bags full of things. It is my feeling that they should include a copy of The Parliament of Poets, because you give this overview, this panorama of the best of human civilization, the voice of her poets, the voice of her dreamers and thinkers, and done it with great honor to each of them, and so I do want to commend your book to our listeners.Don’t be intimidated by an epic poem. It’s really, coming back to that image of the storyteller sitting around the campfires of the world, dipping into and weaving the story of humanity, in the most beautiful, mellifluous language. So kudos to you, sir! Thirty years were not wasted. If anybody listening has contacts to NASA…”Miriam Knight
“I was so impressed with The Parliament of Poets. …I love the vision of Apollo calling all poets and wise people to the moon to debate the meaning of modernity. I mean it’s such a contemporary question and it’s so deliciously wrapped in history and culture, and the poet, the persona character, he travels many journeys to find the answers to the meaning of modernity. …so the vision, essentially, is one of a global vision. …an amazing, wonderful book.” Julie Clayton

“FREDERICK GLAYSHER in conversation about his great epic poem of startling originality and universal significance, THE PARLIAMENT OF POETS, which is ingeniously enriching the canon of ‘literary epics’ while in every way partaking of the nature of world literature. …a truly universal epic.”Dr. Hans-George Ruprecht, CKCU Literary News, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. June 2013. Includes two excerpts from The Parliament of Poets: An Epic Poem. 26 minutes (Skip BBC). Here

“With his new book, THE PARLIAMENT OF POETS, Frederick GLAYSHER is in a creative dialog with the greatest epic poets of all time. He is bringing together in beautiful verse form, tending, as he writes ‘to the iambic pentameter, depending on thought and need’, diverse visions of humanity from all over the world. Frederick Glaysher’s poetic imagination is frequently casting them in the form of spatial and cosmic imagery. That is very exalting to the reader’s spirit. What is more, in reading his new book one is not only compassing, beyond the horizon of empirical facts, a borderless world, but one is also beholding the ‘oneness’ of humankind in a different light. • ‘The Parliament of Poets’ (Earthrise Press, 2012) by Frederick Glaysher is a pure joy; embodied in a literary work of fine verbal art, it is contemporary ‘world literature’ at its best.” Dr. Hans-George Ruprecht, CKCU Literary News, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. August 6, 2013. — a Radio CKCU/Literary News ‘encore’ 26 minutes (Skip BBC). https://cod.ckcufm.com/programs/414/13077.html

London > Epic Poetry Reading. Colourful Radio, with Lester Holloway (London morning drive time). February 5, 2014. Reading a short excerpt set in London, outside Westminster Abbey, a British Parliament of Poets! 5 minutes

Frederick Glaysher

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The Myth of the Enlightenment. Essays.

The Myth of the Enlightenment: Essays

The Myth of the Enlightenment: Essays
Hardcover. ISBN: 9780982677834. Earthrise Press, September 2014. 230 pages.

The Myth of the Enlightenment: Essays. Published September, 2014.

Hardcover. ISBN: 9780982677834. Earthrise Press, September 2014. 230 pages. $22.95. Ships free in the USA within 24 hours. If purchased from this website, free shipping in the UK (from the printer in Milton Keynes) and to anywhere in the European Union, and in Australia (from the printer in Scoresby, Victoria). Elsewhere see Order Books Worldwide. DRM-free PDF $17.95. 
Free PDF Copy of the entire book
 for evaluation: The Myth of the Enlightenment: Essays

I’m afraid I’ve had to be away from The Globe for several months in order to focus on and finish writing The Myth of the Enlightenment. Now that it’s out and setup well on much of the Internet around the world, I hope to have more time to come back here and post my thoughts on things, at least once in a while.

There have been three review / blurb responses to the book so far, with more coming, I hope, with time…

Frederick Glaysher

From the Book Flaps:

Fourteen years in the making, The Myth of the Enlightenment is Frederick Glaysher’s first collection of literary essays since The Grove of the Eumenides in 2007. Divided into three sections, these essays and reviews were all written during the 21st Century, with many of them central to his evolving intellectual and spiritual struggle to write his epic poem, The Parliament of Poets, which he completed and published in late 2012.

These essays open up Glaysher’s own biography and his life-long interest in the writings of Leo Tolstoy, Rabindranath Tagore, John Milton, Saul Bellow, Robert Hayden, and other poets and writers, offering a fresh, new vision for literature and culture…


Reviews

"We need Glaysher’s voice more than ever." —Phillip M. Richards, Colgate University

“In an era in which the value of human life has become as precarious and narrow as the study of the humanities itself, we need Glaysher’s voice more than ever.”
—Phillip M. Richards, Colgate University

“In short this is a book I’ll be returning to for the rest of this year and no doubt afterward. I’m glad it exists and I’m grateful for the wisdom it sends my way.” —Laurence Goldstein, University of Michigan, Department of English

“Frederick Glaysher throws down a gauntlet to all who consider themselves informed and reflective thinkers. He compels us to consider the daunting question of what we read and why. His persuasive answer is constituted by the thoughtful criticism of the Myth of Enlightenment, which insightfully examines important texts from Milton, Tagore, Tolstoy and others of that eminence. Through a series of astute readings, he grounds the canonical status of these works in their high worth as a wisdom literature. That is, they constitute the experiential knowledge gained from the examined lives of our greatest writers. Whatever one’s final judgment of this claim, it must be considered if only for the literary acumen of this author. In an era in which the value of human life has become as precarious and narrow as the study of the humanities itself, we need Glaysher’s voice more than ever.” —Phillip M. Richards, Colgate University, Department of English, author of Black Heart: The Moral Life of Recent African American Letters

“This is a marvelous book of eloquent essays by Frederick Glaysher, one that honors the old literary masters, East and West, while exploring the deepest corners of spirituality and its implication for ameliorating the conditions of modern humanity. Reading each essay, whether it be Rabindranath Tagore, Saul Bellow, Tolstoy, or Robert Hayden, as examples, feels like entering into the secret chambers of the writer’s consciousness struggling “with what is universal in the human being”—struggling to express the universality of the human spirit:

Now more than ever, after centuries of falling down into the bottomless pit of nihilism, the world needs to recover the vision of universality, what the great religions and people of various centuries and cultures have in common. For all too long, humanity has obsessed with what distinguishes and separates, what divides people from one another, setting up our little racial, nationalistic gods and idols….Universality embraces all persuasions and transcends them. That is the great challenge.

“This quest is, as Glaysher clearly reveals, the never ceasing search for creative unity to which he and many others have given over their life, through their thoughts, words, and actions. The essays in this book aim for the author’s highest vision; that is, an attempt to “embody and represent the fullness of human reflection,” an inclination intended not just for academics, but a voice for all, and one that speaks to our time. And to that end, Glaysher has allowed himself to draw “from the soil of literature and culture whatever they need to produce and sustain their fruit.” In talking about his relationship with Robert Hayden, Glaysher tells us, “his own poetry had worked its way deep in to my consciousness.” I cannot think of a better way to describe how this book impresses itself on the reader; if there are millions of people waiting for a sign, as Allan Bloom is cited as saying, then this book is assuredly evidence of what such a sign looks like.” —Julie Clayton, New Consciousness Review

Contents

Preface xi

I The Myth of the Enlightenment

“Of True Religion” by John Milton 15

Tolstoy and the Last Station of Modernity 21

Leo Tolstoy’s Hadji Murad 39

The Poet’s Religion of Rabindranath Tagore 43

Tagore and Literary Adaptation 72

Saul Bellow’s Ravelstein—The Closing of the American Soul 79

Robert Hayden Under a High Window of Angell Hall 87

Aristotle’s Poetics and Epic Poetry 104

Decadence, East and West 108

The Post-Gutenberg Revolution—A Manifesto 129

II Reviews and an Interview

Ben Jonson’s Bartholomew Fair 155

The American Scholar and the Decline of the English Department 157

Fang Lizhi and Human Rights in China 162

Bitter Winds, Indeed 167

Global Tragedies of Our Own Making 171

To My Opposite Number in Texas 173

Interview of the Author of The Bower of Nil 179

III Race in America

Robert Hayden’s Angle of Ascent 191

Creating Equal. Ward Connerly 198

Enough… Juan Williams 199

White Guilt. Shelby Steele 203

Reawakening the Dream. Shelby Steele 207

The Quest for Cosmic Justice. Thomas Sowell 210

Black Rednecks and White Liberals. Thomas Sowell 213

For Betty—Oh God, What Have We Done. David Horowitz 220

Winning the Race. John McWhorter 222

FROM the Preface

For over three-hundred years, civilization has been under the sway of the Myth of the Enlightenment. While the Enlightenment initiated a highly beneficial movement away from autocratic government and religion, a stifling reliance on past authorities, accompanied by an ever-increasing scientific and practical development, very early on stress and cracks began to be felt in the structure of the psyche and society. The twentieth century witnessed those cracks transmogrifying into crevasses of gaping and violent proportions, often circling the globe.

The last few decades have borne all the more testimony that the Myth of the Enlightenment has become part of the problem and no longer sufficiently comprises what is needed to resolve and heal what civilization is suffering from.

Speaking broadly, to reach the imagination of the entire culture, the cultural richness and plenitude of the humanities are essential and must include all of the religious and wisdom traditions. Story, myth, and drama reach the deepest into the psyche, as Carl Jung, Joseph Campbell, among others, understood, as they had learned from the greatest works of art and myth that were in fact at the core of their own studies.

Science cannot alone heal the divide that it, too, suffered as a result of the upheavals of the seventeenth century and modernity, though quantum physics suggests a transition of worldview. Neither can literature and the humanities alone heal the wound of civilization. It can only be done together, an act in itself that at last demonstrates the divide has been crossed, dramatizing it, as it were, for all to understand…

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First Global, Universal Epic Poem

Frederick Glaysher, April 4, 2012

Frederick Glaysher, April 4, 2012

The First Global, Universal Epic Poem

To clarify, since I have repeatedly met with incredulity, I have stated that my epic poem is the first one in the English language in 345 years, not that it is the best, which is a judgment for readers and critics to make. For it is arguably nothing more than a statement of fact, which has been said by many poets and literary critics through the years and decades, to say that there is no epic poem in the English language worthy of the name since Milton.

Longfellow’s Hiawatha is not an epic, but a narrative poem, while William Cowper’s The Task, Alexander Pope’s Rape of the Lock and Dunciad are all mock-epics, as is James Merrill’s The Changing Light at Sandover,  a farcical Ouija board fantasy, a would-be mock-epic, at best, and so on.

I have written a serious epic poem within the Western tradition and English letters, and I draw from the epic traditions of all civilizations, East and West. No poet could write such a poem without realizing it, for the epic requires not a moment of inspiration, like a lyric, but an act of will, over many years, even decades, which is one of the reasons why it has rightly been judged as the most demanding literary form.

John Milton, it should be noted, realized what he had written, and was not reluctant to say so, even within the poem itself. His prose, for instance, demonstrates he understood for decades what he was up against and strove to vie with the greatest poets of the epic tradition. It may shock readers today who are habituated to small, personal, postmodern songs of self to hear someone make the claim, as I do, that I have written the first epic poem in the English language in 345 years, but it is merely to lay on the table, so to speak, the manuscript that sets on my desk. It is not something I am dreaming about writing. Those days are at long last, for me, in the past. Now it is time for others to judge. No person who hasn’t read it, however, can make the claim that my epic doesn’t exist.

Derek Walcott’s Omeros is not an epic but basically a novel in sprawling narrative verse. The Prelude is a rambling study of Wordsworth’s own mind, as has often been said; Robert Browning’s The Ring and the Book is another narrative story, not an epic properly speaking. G. K. Chesterton’s The Ballad of the White Horse is a narrative in a ridiculous meter for an epic, with a quaint subject. There are a lot of those since Milton, none of which are epics. Byron never finished Don Juan and famously admitted he had no plot, no epic theme, just sat down and started cranking it out, didn’t know how to end it, and died without finishing it. When writing my master’s thesis on E. A. Robinson, I read several of his book-length narrative poems, as I had for years prior, some of which are masterpieces in their own right, unjustly neglected, but definitely not epic poems. William Carlos Williams’ Paterson, though lovely and evocative, is small potatoes, leaves much to be desired, and nevertheless is not ultimately an epic.

While I love Alfred Tennyson’s Idylls of the King and think it’s one of the greatest books in the English language, one of the models of my own verse, I must concede that it is not an epic, but a retelling of selected portions of the Arthurian myth. The title of Walt Whitman’s poem says it all, no matter how much one emphasizes its symbolic qualities, a mere seventy-five pages in most editions. Having read much of Louis Zukofsky and Charles Olson more than twenty years ago, I assert they do not merit the title, the latter of which was patched together by a scholar, completely disqualifying it from the running, Olson himself never having finished it. While many want to laud The Cantos as an epic, Ezra Pound admitted to Donald Hall in a late interview, in one of Hall’s early books, that he had no plot or vision, didn’t make any sense, and the fragments remained unfinished at his death. Robert Southey’s Madoc was plain weird, and, anyway, never stuck to the culture. C. S. Lewis’s adolescent attempt, the Dymer, is not even a contender. Peter Dale Scott’s Seculum trilogy constitutes a politicized pastiche that fails to rise from the personal to the epic tradition. Frederick Turner’s subject and structure are fit perhaps for science fiction, but not epic poetry. Anne Waldman’s PC trilogy falls short both in terms of form and theme. There are other odd-ball, would-be epics, none of which qualify, fail to find a way to grapple with modern life and yet evoke and honor the Tradition.

As much as I’ve always delighted in Tolkien’s Trilogy, reading it in its entirety by the fireplace to my own sons when they were young, Tolkien’s “The Fall of Arthur,” which he himself had the good sense never to finish or publish, a mere forty pages, was derivative. It’s very interesting that he attempted an Arthurian epic prior to writing The Hobbit and his other books, and then put it aside, along with any pretension to poetry. It is a good example of how every scrap of a great writer will eventually be dragged out to the light of day by those of lesser judgment. The opening lines quoted are doggerel. And two hundred pages are not enough to constitute an epic poem, very much a typical narrative length. I doubt many serious serious and capable readers will ever make the mistake of taking Tolkien’s self-rejected attempt at Arthurian legend as an epic, though it doubtlessly helped him to find his real talent as a writer, prose.

That Tolkien wrote a handful of lines of verse in the Triology does not make Tolkien a poet. Note how rare they are in the vast field of his prose. The real poet sustains that, over an entire epic poem and career, not a few scattered lines here and there, much of which is actually children’s verse. Tolkien could not sustain it; he didn’t have the talent, but he did have the vision. I do agree with W. H. Auden’s essay on Tolkien, wherein he makes the point that the Trilogy is the only *positive* vision in modern literature. I would like to think I learnt a lot from Tolkien in that regard, though working in a different form and meter, and that lessons from him run deep into my own epic, in poetry.

Also like E. A. Robinson’s long narrative poems, based on Arthurian myth and legend, the novelist John Gardner’s attempt at an epic, Jason and Medeia, is a narrative poem, without a new vision of life for today, mostly in prose, but based on the Greek myth of Jason and the argonauts and his wife Medea. That is to say it is a derivative retelling of a story which he himself did not originate, unlike Virgil and Dante. While Milton may have drawn the basic story of Adam and Eve from the Bible, he made a real epic poem of it. Gardner didn’t do that and wasn’t capable of it. The lines in which Gardner attempted to write poetry do not deserve the name, the few lines in which he attempted it, and he chose a meter which no real epic poet in the English language would have ever been tone-deaf enough to use.

And so the story goes. Mere narratives and novels in verse do not constitute an epic. Nor do sequences, series of poems, pastiche, etc. Redefinitions of what is an epic fall short of the standard and demonstrate merely how desperate of a strait modernity is in, stretching the definition of epic to accommodate the diminished state of affairs, which is not to suggest I believe one must slavishly follow a formula. I draw from all the great epics, creating, I hope, a new, contemporary interpretation and form of the tradition, East and West.

Part of the problem readers have today is that it has been so long since an epic poem has been written that perhaps many no longer know what one is. And, of course, the true epic, in any Age, will redefine for itself and its Age, what in fact the epic is, what constitutes it, will of necessity have to do so, yet, I assert, must honor the Tradition to qualify as such, and not as a mock-epic, but a serious vision of the time. I addressed this problem in an Epic Poetry Workshop I gave at the Austin International Poetry Festival in September, 2012:  https://youtu.be/9vPGP1ygY_s

If there’s one I’ve missed, after over thirty years of studying the epic form, I’d appreciate hearing about it. I’d love to read it. Name it.

My epic poem is finished and sets on my desk. It was serialized throughout the past summer in the manner of Charles Dickens and other 19th Century writers on my ebook site, Earthrise Press eBooks. It will be published in hardcover and as an ebook, in both the Mobi/Kindle and ePub formats, in November.

I survey the epic tradition of Western civilization, both ancient and modern,  in a forty-page essay, “Epopee,” in my book The Grove of the Eumenides: Essays on Literature, Criticism, and Culture, available worldwide. While I discuss the  fine narratives of Archibald MacLeish, his Conquistadors, and Robert Penn Warren, his Brother to Dragons, they are not epic poems.

The Parliament of Poets is not only the first epic poem in the English language in 345 years, but also the first global, universal epic, one that raises a world-embracing vision for our time. That is what I set out to write as early as 1982. It is up to readers to decide whether or not I have achieved what I set out to accomplish. I state merely what has been my goal for over thirty years and is now available as a printed book and ebook.

The Parliament of Poets: An Epic Poem is the first global, universal epic poem, now released in both hardcover, ISBN: 9780982677889, and eBook formats, eISBN: 9780982677865. Earthrise Press, November 2012. 294 pages. Hardcover and ebook editions on AmazonBarnes & Noble,KoboGoogle PlayEarthrise Press® eBooks, and their global affiliates, e.g., Amazon.uk,Amazon.caChapters Indigo, etc.

Read the free sample chapter, BOOK I, along with the Preface, Introduction, and A Prefatory Ode on Amazon above.  Or as a free PDF, click HERE

“A truly universal epic.” – Hans Ruprecht, CKCU Literary News, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. June 18, 2013. Listen to his interview of me.

Frederick Glaysher

 

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Poetry Reading, Epic Poetry Workshop, AIPF

The Parliament of Poets: An Epic Poem

The Parliament of Poets: An Epic Poem

Poetry Reading, Epic Poetry Workshop, AIPF.

Frederick Glaysher reading from the eighth draft of his epic poem The Parliament of Poets, from the very beginning of BOOK I, at the Austin International Poetry Festival, September 29, 2012, Austin, Texas, at the end of his Epic Poetry Workshop. Copyright (c) 2012 Frederick Glaysher.

From BOOK I, the very beginning of the epic, published in the *di-verse-city* 2012 Anthology for the Austin International Poetry Festival, 20th Anniversary Celebration Edition.

Poetry Reading, Frederick Glaysher, Epic Poetry, AIPF
https://youtu.be/qUiEMr9uJFM

Frederick Glaysher

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