Into The Ruins: Poems

UrakamiBy Frederick Glaysher. (Hardcover $19.95. Out of Stock). Preface. Earthrise Press, 1999. 73 pages. ISBN-10: 0967042127. ISBN: 9780967042121.

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Softcover. $18.00. Preface. Earthrise Press, 2009; 2024 Edition. Several new poems. 88 pages. ISBN: 9780967042190. Purchase on Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million. Order Books Worldwide. Printed in the USA, UK, Australia, India, worldwide.

Into The Ruins confronts much of the human experience left out of the balance. Suffused with a global tragic vision, into the ruins of the 20th Century, Glaysher has his gaze fixed firmly on the 21st. Lyric poems and dramatic monologues.

From Preface

The work of such artists as Francisco Goya in his war paintings and Los Caprichos, Kaethe Kollwitz’s drawings, Wilfred Owen’s poems of WWI, Randall Jarrell’s “The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner,” and many of the poems of Robert Hayden, a fellow Detroiter, were powerful examples and influences on me that spoke to my sense of life and helped open the way forward for me as a poet.

...far from withdrawing further into the self and into an obfuscating use of language, poets must turn to viewing and contemplating the real world, where men butcher and kill, love and hate, aspire and sometimes achieve. For out of our experience and contemplation of the past and present, a deeper understanding of history and of what it means to be a human being is now beginning to emerge, opening the way to a new future, in a new century. W. H. Auden once wrote that radical change in artistic style is contingent on "radical change in human sensibility." The unrelenting movement of modern times toward the oneness of humankind has sufficiently been made explicit—an epic movement that allows, produces, and requires a fundamental change in sensibility.


"At high points, his poetry captures the feelings of contingency and horror felt by many but expressed well by few.... Glaysher fits well within the literary tradition, as he shows with his allusions to or mentions of, among others, Augustine, Dante, Yeats, Dostoyevsky, and Hayden; however, his voice is distinct. Among contemporary poets, few have a vision as darkly haunting.... Few also have the knowledge and the ability to handle contemporary issues with such presence of language. Out of the mass of recent poetry books, here is one you should read." Jack Magazine   

"A litany of horrors updating Eliot’s Waste Land, the book upbraids poets for turning inward only to concerns of the self." North American Review

"I will definitely be checking out more of his work in the future (Parliament of Poets looks good). This book deals with many of the horrors and terrors of the long 20th century, and in many ways chastises the poets of this period for not finding an effective way to confront that horror. 
"...this book is quite good. It is well laid out, and does what so few collection of poems do-- that is build an argument or overall claim. There are short pieces that deal with the visceral horrors of conflict, relying on powerful imagery, and then longer drawn out philosophical pieces that culminate what Glaysher has been saying. 
"The result is a collection that makes shorter, powerful jabs, followed by a prolonged punch. The reader is therefore left with the power of the poetry as the poems build on each other in rapid succession. Well written, thought out, and containing a clear purpose, I highly recommend Into the Ruins and look forward to reading Glaysher's other works." Goodreads 

"Powerful poetry..." —Katnip Reviews

"His poetry is fluid and rhythmic. ...thoughtful and provocative." —Main Street Rag

"A book about something other than an author’s reflections in a mirror."  —Expansive Poetry

"A poetic reflection on postmodern life, with a particular focus on the limitations of both Eastern and Western thought. Collectively offers a higher path to universality for our future." —EdwardHamilton

"Fred Glaysher takes us on a journey to that larger dimension of responsibility where thought meets action. This is a poetry of connectedness, which asks us to bring together broken parts of our cultures (both East and West) and search for a new identity, perhaps a new world order. His finely crafted poems are accessible and have a purpose that needs to be heard. " —WPON Interview

"Equivalent to the shock of visiting a holocaust museum depicting all the world’s victims of genocide.  The imagery he flashes in this gallery of atrocity, hopefully will sensitize readers to the extent that they will recognize the moral imperative of conquering the evil inherent in man." —Collages & Bricolages

"It is argued that now poets must turn to contemplating the real world and Glaysher is remarkable in his achievement of this. It is excellent poetry; his words and images hit you right in the gut. Well worth reading."  —Poetry Greece

"An impressively broad survey of atrocity." —Chicago Poetry

"Frederick Glaysher prefaces his collection of poems with the declaration that 'poets must turn to viewing and contemplating the real world, where men butcher and kill, love and hate, aspire and sometimes achieve...' which is echoed throughout Into The Ruins. Presented in 5 parts, Glaysher dangles language fueled visions of reality hauntingly similar to every day news snippets that pound at us continuously via TV, radio, and print. Often gruesome and relentless, Glaysher’s images are dark and horrifying; yet, a true to life presentation of the world and possibly personal events as seen through his eyes. Into The Ruins dishes out scenes of death and destruction impressing a distinct poetic style along with a macabre rendering of the mayhem people continuously seem to inflict on one another. It weaves a refreshing presentation of language with a heart-stopping example of contemporary life." —Poetry Market Ezine

"Frederick Glaysher’s poetry is one of artistic energy, an articulate and penetrating voice. A poetry of lyrical passion and clear-eyed depiction." —The Midwest Book Review


Preface ix

The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters 11
Midnight Visitors 12
The Pit of Darkness 13
Danse Macabre 14
Locusts 15
Camp II 16
Gulag Wayfarers 17
Oracle Bones 18
Heartland America 19
At a Mass Grave 20

Into the Ruins 22
Old Baltimore 27
Rodin’s Gates of Hell 28
Hibakusha Nightmare 31
Advent of the Beast 32
Raskolnikov’s Dream 33
To the New City 34
Long Journey Through Night 36
The Crowned Maitreya 37
Tohoku Earthquake 39
Carnelian Blemish 40
Leader of the People 41
Vignette 43
Chairman of the Board 44
Wild Goose Pagodas 46
A Little Girl Alongside a Road 47

A Conversation on the Forum 50
Mud-Wrestlers 53
Derrida in Doubt 54
Perseus 55
The Looking-Glass 56
Professor Nincompoop 58
The Golden Tripod 59

Elijah Lovejoy 62
Woodrow Wilson 63
Eleanor Roosevelt 64
Albert Einstein 65
Arnold Toynbee 66
Dag Hammarskjöld 67
Blue Helmets 68
Homage to Mark Tobey 69
Elegy for Robert Hayden 72
“Remembering” Facebook Acquaintances 73
The Storm of Dust 74

To Penelope 76
Intimations 77
Kagi 78
Basic Training 79
A Visit to Aunt Amy’s 80
Leaving the Old Country 81
The Dream 82
A Wasted Call 83
The Dark Wood 84
Chamber Music 85
At My Funeral 86