Saturday, July 8, 2017

Diagnosis; Charioteer; 'The Appian Way' by Respighi; Appian history

by Sharon Olds

Listen Online

By the time I was six months old, she knew something
was wrong with me. I got looks on my face
she had not seen on any child
in the family, or the extended family,
or the neighborhood. My mother took me in
to the pediatrician with the kind hands,
a doctor with a name like a suit size for a wheel:
Hub Long. My mom did not tell him
what she thought in truth, that I was Possessed.
It was just these strange looks on my face—
he held me, and conversed with me
chatting as one does with a baby, and my mother
said, She’s doing it now! Look!
She’s doing it now! and the doctor said,
What your daughter has
is called a sense
of humor. Ohhh, she said, and took me
back to the house where that sense would be tested
and found to be incurable.

"Diagnosis" by Sharon Olds from One Secret Thing. © Knop 2009


We recently celebrated
the fourth of July here in Waukesha.

We have a mayor named Shawn Reilly who is coming up on the end
of his four year term, his first.  I find him self-effacing and modest,
a good young man with years of lawyer experience including his long stint
with the downtown Business Improvement District, a post that had Reilly
battling encrusted forces, he in the interests of bettering downtown conditions
for commerce and residential.

Reilly has proven himself on the fields of city battle.

That's why is was so singular that His Honor chose to his parade ride
in a black chariot convertible at the lead of the community co-mingled legions,
looking for all the world to us like a Caesar coming home from victory
on Rome's Appian Way.

Our vantage for Waukesha's parades has been for the last seven years
our residence on the top floor of the Putney Odd Fellows hall, giving us
a coveted angle from which to take our photos.


Here comes Mayor Reilly now:

It was not hard to put this construction on his grand entrance:

THE PINES OF ROME came to mind, Respighi's masterpiece including
the throbbing beats of the symphony in movement No. IV, The Appian Way.

Parades of victory - and once in a while defeat - saw the bruised Roman soldiers
traveling  proudly home via the ancient stone roadway.
Fighters all - for what they saw by their lights was right.

Listen to the music:

Another Reillian effect in his work as leader of the Waukesha various armies
has been the humbler performance of foot soldier duties as a volunteer:

Downtown clean-up day
new broom sweeps clean


For the complete Respighi version which includes a standing ovation play this:
Move the time bar to 14 minutes to get the full Appian Way effect of this complete version.


History of the Appian Way