Evocative and thought-provoking, author Frederick Glaysher has written a poetic masterpiece evoking a new global vision of life, and a Journey towards healing the psyche of the planet. It is sweeping in scope, relevant, and enriching; as I say in my review, this is one of those books that once read, you realize your life was impoverished without it.
I can’t thank you enough for your good opinion of my epic. It’s truly very moving to me to read your words, good to know someone has made the journey and understands…It’s been said that the test of a great book is that people want to reread it, so you inspire me with hope, just maybe, somehow, there might be a way to reach humanity with a moderate, global, universal vision of life that might help it look anew on what it means to be human and all our troubles on this planet.
~ Frederick Glaysher, author of Parliament of Poets www.fglaysher.com
Review by Julie Clayton:
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. The author writes himself into the narrative, a present-day unsung poet spirited to the moon, where poets, bards, and minstrels (major and minor) from all cultures and ages have convened, called by Lord Apollo. The assembly gathers and Cervantes (best known for his magnum opus Don Quixote) proclaims:
“In high consultation, we shall find the way
back home, to the depths of man’s soul,
what we have known and sung about for our
peoples, that they might find wisdom through delight.”
The parliament agrees they will help “Persona,” the would-be poet, by guiding him on his journey of seeking and questions—to learn from the spiritual and wisdom traditions the global vision that will remind Mankind how to “walk the good road again.” Persona departs from the moon and traverses the multiverse, returning four times to Earth’s seven continents, escorted by and peopled with “old friends, long known, but never met face to face.” The author’s intimate encounters with these familiar masters are elegantly and beautifully conveyed through shades of meaning, nuanced references that acquaint—or reacquaint—us with their poetic personnage
Readers are transported into the heart and mind of Cervantes, the wisdom of Job, to the ancient cave of Lescaux and the Valley of a Thousand Temples, from riding moonbeams to the red-stained stream of human civilization clogged with bodies; we greet Virgil and Homer, Dante and Milton, Rumi and Hafiz, Du Fu and Basho, poets of the Ramayana and griots from Africa, shamans from Indonesia and Australia, Murasaki Shikibu, Emily Dickenson and Jane Austen, Hayden and Tennyson, Chief Seattle and Black Elk, Rumi and Milarepa, Shakespeare, Celtic Merlin…and so many other keepers of the living presence. The power of women and the feminine spirit weaves throughout—the freestanding muse, goddess, and Earth Mother to all things sacred; witness to the Truth. Science, religion, culture, and the humanities is another collective theme undergirding the writing.
Although the cast of characters is primarily disembodied spirits, this epic presents wholly perceptible concerns about the meaning of modernity (“a shallow culture undermines everything”), as well as the flourishing of the human spirit, using modern and accessible language and traditional iambic verse. However, the experience of reading this book defies attempts to describe it: poetry, like any art, means many things to many people. 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 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. Parliament of Poets is a worthy literary masterpiece, the author a curator of the human story, and the book a living cultural artifact. Once read, you know your life was impoverished without it.
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