Tag Archives: Virgil

Notes Over My Writing Desk

Notes over my writing desk

Notes over my writing desk

Notes Over My Writing Desk, from top left down to right:

“The heart of so great a mystery cannot ever be reached by following one road only.” – Quintus Aurelius Symmachus (c. 345 – 402), a Roman statesman, orator, and man of letters, quoted by Augustine from exchange with St. Ambrose. Quoted by Arnold Toynbee in his Gifford Lecture.

“The passionate love of the artist for his subject is the soul of art. Without love no work of art is possible.” –Tolstoy, Letter, September 1889.

Virgil– write it out in prose. “No day without its line.” [Apocryphal? It shouldn’t be…]

“For the artist, however, a worldview is a tool and instrument, like a hammer in the hands of a stonemason.” –Mandelstam, from “The Morning of Acmeism,” quoted by Saul Bellow in Summations (The Bennington Chapbooks in Literature, 1987).

“Get the work out.” –Robert Hayden, to me once in conversation.

From top right, down:

“Long choosing, and beginning late.” — John Milton, Paradise Lost, BOOK IX

“Make the works.” — Walt Whitman, on a type of name plate reportedly on his desk

“I think we’re in danger of seeing a new dark age come over the mental life of the country. It is a very serious matter.” — Saul Bellow, The Dean’s December (1982).

“And the honour of virtue consists in contending, not in winning.” — Montaigne

“Certain it is, however, that this great power of blackness in him derives its force from its appeals to that Calvinistic sense of Innate Depravity and Original Sin, from whose visitations, in some shape or other, no deeply thinking mind is always and wholly free. For, in certain moods, no man can weigh this world, without throwing in something, somehow like Original Sin, to strike the uneven balance.” — Herman Melville, “Hawthorne and His Mosses,” 1850.

“The supreme test of a book is that we should find some unusual intelligence working behind the words.” — Herman Melville, “Hawthorne and His Mosses,” 1850.

Bottom, right, from a dream, August 30, 2008:

“This is the structure, this is the theme”: Sacrifice thyself for the good of others. Serve them. Lead them to the Light. Accept and bear thy load of suffering and pain for their sake, for the sake of God, the Absolute Reality. Oneness of God. Oneness of the Prophets. Oneness of humanity. “Radiant acquiescence.”

Frederick Glaysher

Leave a Comment

Filed under Epic

First Epic Poem in English in 345 Years

At my writing desk, June 21, 2012

At my writing desk, June 21, 2012, working on Book III for the summer serialization.

I believe I have written the first epic poem in English in 345 years, since Milton’s publishing Paradise Lost in 1667. I cordially invite the reader to consider that there is no other subsequent poem in the English language that succeeds in meriting the title of epic, nor comparison with Milton, Dante, Virgil, and Homer. All of the contenders are merely long poems, series and sequences, mock epics, or local epics, if you will, embracing a regional civilization, not the entire globe, not a universal, global epic, with a world-embracing vision. The same is true of all of the traditional epics of other cultures, as with Asia, for instance.

Throughout my adult life, my life-long goal has been to write a universal, global epic, commensurate with our Global Age, to speak to all nations, the many millions. I invite readers to consider and judge whether I have achieved what I began to conceive of, and study for, as early as 1982.

BOOK I, along with the Preface and Introduction, is a FREE DOWNLOAD at https://books.fglaysher.com/The-Parliament-of-Poets-An-Epic-Poem-Book-I-FREE-Book-I.htm

In my essay “Epopee,” in my book The Grove of the Eumenides, available worldwide in either a printed or ebook edition, I survey ancient and modern epic poetry. https://fglaysher.com/order_books.html

Frederick Glaysher

Leave a Comment

Filed under Epic

Finished the 7th Draft of The Parliament of Poets

Man on the Moon

On June 6th I finished the 7th Draft of The Parliament of Poets, an epic poem. Tolstoy set the standard for me with his seven drafts of War and Peace. Reading about that years ago, I have never been able to forget it. He, with his wife’s help (much contention around that fact in later years), wrote out the entire manuscript, over 1,000 pages in most editions, by hand, seven times! Awesome just to think of the physical energy expended, let alone the mental, especially after having written by hand my manuscript of a mere 280 pages, five times, puny by comparison! Argh, perhaps in other ways, self-doubt barking, though I dare to think otherwise, while knowing the ultimate judgment resides with readers… as it should.

At least, I tell myself, I have, in my own terms, achieved what I set out to do, as long ago as the early 1980s: Write an epic poem, a serious one, though laden with delight, that attempts to stand with Homer, Virgil, Dante, and Milton, the other great epic poets, East and West, one that confronts, attempts to confront, the fullness of modern life, in all its global complexity, humanity’s many strands, and weave a new, universal vision of epic song. It’s been a long and lonely, arduous journey. Whatever comes of it, whatever readers think, like or detest it, ignore or spurn it, for the first time in over thirty years, it’s not a weight on my consciousness, not one I’ve yet to deliver, but done, setting on my desk.

Read my other reflections on my epic poem in the Epic Category to the right >

Frederick Glaysher


Filed under Epic

Poetry Reading, Albany Word Fest

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


Frederick Glaysher

Leave a Comment

Filed under Epic