“You are welcome, masters! Welcome, all!” To quote Shakespeare — as I often do! Here you will find mythology reinvented through poetry, epic poetry, fiction, and non-fiction.
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Meanwhile, if you see a role for poetry in the political arena, find the latest commentaries in verse, including audio, at the Polemics page. (And if you don’t see a role for poetry, check it out anyway to find out why you should!)
“Your loves, as mine to you” (Shakespeare again)
Abdiel is a British-American author and actor whose life is largely inspired by the Bible, Shakespeare, mythology, and the great epic poem, Paradise Lost. He has memorized thousands of lines of poetry and can come up with an instant quote for every occasion!
These inspirations are especially evident in his own epic poems. Abdiel’s signature work, Elijah, reimagines the great Old-Testament prophet’s ministry and miracles, while his “little epic”, Obama’s Dream, takes the former president on a night-time journey of transformation and shows the predations of empire Obama would hand over to Donald Trump!
Political theatre is also seen through the lens of poetry in Verses Versus Empire, Abdiel’s three-volume series covering in turn the Bush, Obama, and Trump eras. His other collections include Well Versed: To Shakespeare, Poets, and the Performing Arts, which features poems voiced by famed British actors in BBC broadcasts, among them Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, and Mark Rylance.
But Abdiel’s own skills as a narrator and voice actor make for especially dramatic readings. You can hear excerpts from all his books by visiting the relevant book page at this site or by subscribing to his podcast.
In non-fiction, Abdiel has published Dueling the Dragon: Adventures in Chinese Media and Education, a memoir crafted over 10 years as he lived and worked in China.
More recently, he published The Gourmet Gospel: A Spiritual Path to Guilt-Free Eating. This #1 New Release on Amazon gently guides the reader to freedom of conscience in all aspects of life, and especially when it comes to “merciful munching”!
Grace also transforms in Abdiel’s work of fiction, The Christmas Tree, where he imagines the journey of a beloved tree from forest to market to home to sidewalk, until the courage of a little boy intervenes.
As an actor, Abdiel has embodied most of the major Shakespearean roles, and on stages from New York to London to Beijing, though perhaps his most famous appearance is in the hit short film series, The Expert. He has also staged three one-man shows, including the famous children’s tale, Wind in the Willows.
Abdiel’s previous careers include broadcasting and financial analysis. His passions encompass Argentine Tango, Yoga, and competitive Swimming.
Finally, a note about the author’s name, which he officially changed in the U.K. in 2013 (from Ian Michael Reed) to embody his love of English literature. Abdiel is an angel — specifically, a seraph — in John Milton’s great epic poem, Paradise Lost. He first appears in Book V of that work when he is the only angel in Satan’s command to openly defy his leader’s order to rebel against God.
Later, when the two great armies are arrayed to fight for control of Heaven itself, it is Abdiel who delivers the first blow, striking Satan with such force that “ten paces huge/ He back recoiled.” So inspiring is his example that LeRoy has given the seraph key recurring roles in both of his own epic poems, Elijah and Obama’s Dream.
“LeRoy”, meanwhile, comes from Shakespeare’s Henry V. On the eve of Agincourt, the pivotal battle in his campaign in France, the king goes out disguised among his troops. One asks his name, to which he replies, “Harry Le Roy”, French for “Harry the king”.