FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE In 2018, Stepping Back from the Brink of Self-Destruction
Contact: Frederick Glaysher
We human beings on this planet need a new vision and understanding of life, to help bring us together, to see and feel and understand our common humanity, to step back from the brink of self-destruction.
From the Moon, together, we can see it, a new global, universal vision of life. Many millions of people around the world have already evolved toward such a vision. Frederick Glaysher’s The Parliament of Poets, published by Earthrise Press, is set partly on the moon and evokes a new way humankind can come together in peace.
Reviewed by Hans Ruprecht at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, as “A great epic poem of startling originality and universal significance,” while Kevin McGrath in South Asian Studies at Harvard University wrote, “A remarkable poem by a uniquely inspired poet, taking us out of time into a new and unspoken consciousness…”
Thirty years in the making, set partly on the moon at the Apollo 11 landing site, the Sea of Tranquility, Glaysher’s epic poem charts a way forward for humanity, from the perspective of a quarter of a million miles out in space, gazing back at Mother Earth.
In a world of Quantum science, Apollo, the Greek god of poetry, calls all the poets of the nations, ancient and modern, East and West, to assemble on the moon to consult on the meaning of modernity. 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 wisdom traditions of humankind. On Earth and on the moon, the poets teach a new global, universal vision of life.
One of the major themes is the power of women and the female spirit across cultures. Another is the nature of science and religion, including Quantum Physics, as well as the “two cultures,” science and the humanities.
Frederick Glaysher is the author or editor of ten books. At the University of Michigan, Glaysher studied writing under a private tutorial with the poet Robert Hayden and edited his prose and poems. He has lived and traveled widely in Japan and China and was a Fulbright-Hays scholar on China and an NEH scholar on India.
Reviving both the art of epic poetry and the Greek story-tellers known as rhapsodes, Glaysher has given more than twenty epic poetry readings from The Parliament of Poets: An Epic Poem (ISBN: 978-0982677889 $23.95 EarthrisePress.Net and Amazon), described by the audience, “like a story around a campfire.”
Mr. Glaysher has written a new story for humanity that can help inspire people toward peace in the real world.
Poetry Month, Robert Hayden, Space Traveler, & Epic Poetry Reading 2017
Saturday, April 22, 2017. 1:00 – 2:30 PM.
Detroit Public Library, Main Branch. 5201 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48202. Fine Arts Reading Room, 3rd Floor.
In addition to speaking on Hayden and reading from some of his poems dealing with themes about outer space, Glaysher reads two excerpts from his epic poem The Parliament of Poets, in one of which Hayden is a character, the other set in a village in East Congo, where rape has been used as a weapon of war, with Sogolon, a character from the Mali epic Sundiata.
“We are one in our struggles toward perfection. And I hope that we shall always be.” —Robert Hayden, Letter to Frederick Glaysher, November 14, 1979
“Like a story around a campfire.” —From the Audience
“A great epic poem of startling originality and universal significance, in every way partaking of the nature of world literature.” —Dr. Hans-George Ruprecht, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada
“A remarkable poem by a uniquely inspired poet, taking us out of time into a new and unspoken consciousness…” —Kevin McGrath, 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 Letters.” —ML Liebler, Department of English, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan
“Glaysher is really an epic poet and this is an epic poem! 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… One can hardly congratulate him enough, then, on this achievement, since it has been so long awaited… 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. Glaysher has written a masterpiece… I strongly recommend Frederick Glaysher’s poem.” —James Sale (UK), The Society of Classical Poets
“And a fine major work it is.” —Arthur McMaster, Department of English, Converse College, Spartanburg, South Carolina
“Very intrigued by his background. I’m extremely impressed with the quality and depth of the writing. So well written. It’s almost like a stepping stone into all this world lit that people might otherwise never touch.” —R. J. Fox, Kerrytown BookFest, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Sept. 11, 2016. https://Youtu.be/YDaPs1dGS4c
“Bravo to the Poet for this toilsome but brilliant endeavour.” —Umme Salma, Transnational Literature, Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia
A stain-glass window in the Detroit Public Library, with Apollo above Erato.
Frederick Glaysher. Reading for Poetry Month, April 22, 2017
Frederick Glaysher. Fine Arts Reading Room
YouTube Playlist – Epic Poetry Readings and Workshop. Copyright (c) 2012-2017 Frederick Glaysher.
The notion has been raised that my poetry is about “ideas.” I assure my readers that there are, in that sense, no “ideas” in my poetry, for it has been my life-long ambition that Fancy, that highest form of epistemology, might reign in that estate, as in the great epics around the world, East and West, Cervantes’s Don Quixote or Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels.
Alas, we human beings are dying all around the world because of “ideas”! So, I said to myself, let us journey to the Moon, beyond the world of “ideas…”
Yet in another sense, if you’re really interested in knowing where my “ideas” come from, I invite you to read my five literary books, which together represent more than forty years of study of Western and world literature, world religions, history, and philosophy. In The Grove of the Eumenides, I concentrated especially on the rise of nihilism in modern culture and its spread around the globe, ending with essays looking to the future, on the United Nations and epic poetry. My study for that book forms the foundation of my epic poem, while much of The Myth of the Enlightenment was written concurrently with my epic and was where I resolved many issues, as I wrote my way through it.
When I was in about my mid-twenties, I had decided that I would follow the example of Virgil, who wrote three books, two often thought of as leading up to his epic poem. When I had looked around at many of the “prominent” poets back then, I felt that I didn’t want to write thirty or seventy books of lyric poetry but, as they say, “cast all my lot on one book.” And so my two books of poetry are where I very much felt that I was developing the ability that I needed to write an epic poem, by writing lyrics that developed my voice and sense of language, grappling with what seemed to me the “ruins” of the 20th Century, Into the Ruins, along with a number of dramatic monologues in which I first experimented with “putting on the mask,” of a character, and speaking through personae. With The Bower of Nil, I surveyed Western philosophy and Buddhism in Japan, speaking through a few characters in a dramatic book-length narrative poem, telling a story of an academic philosopher and his family, with wider symbolic implications.
In broad outline, this is how I thought and think of my own personal journey toward writing The Parliament of Poets: An Epic Poem. I invite you to make the Journey and read my four other literary books, which should help you understand what my “ideas” really are and their sources.
Last year I also discussed my development as a poet in “My Odyssey as an Epic Poet: Interview with Frederick Glaysher,” with Arthur McMaster, Contributing Editor, Department of English, Converse College, in Poets’ Quarterly (Spring 2015). ” You might find it of further help in understanding the sources of my ideas.
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 seeOrder 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…
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…
“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
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…
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 →