Friday, April 13, 2018

JD DeHart writes


No, thank you,
I will walk quickly.
Or else take my time.
A sprinter goes by,
then an entire herd.
What are they proving,
what do they see when
they arrive?
Headed to the restaurant,
I should think about exercise
instead of fried strips.
I'll think about it more
in my lazy amble.
Image result for marathon paintings The Home Stretch -- Hope Phelan

1 comment:

  1. Tom Derderian called the Boston Marathon “a pagan rite of spring -– a celebration at that time of year when there is hope again.” It is always held on the 3rd Monday of April. The world's oldest annual marathon, it began in 1897 with 15 runners but now has about 30,000 registered participants every year. (Its 100th anniversary was the world's largest, with 38,708 entrants.) The founder of modern semantics, Michel Bréal, created the race for the 1st modern Olympics, in Athens in 1896, to commemorate Pheidippides' feat in 90 BCE. An Athenian hemerodrome (courier), he was sent the 240 km (150 mi) to Sparta (which he accomplished in 2 days) to get military support after the Persians landed at Marathon (the Greek name for fennel, hay). En route he was intercepted by the god Pan, who was upset that he was not honored in Athens, and Pheidippides assured him that the oversight would be corrected. In response, Pan instilled "panic" among the Persians during the battle, leading to a Greek victory. Then Pheidippides ran the 40 km (25 mi) from Marathon to Athens to deliver the news; he collapsed and died upon his arrival. Robert Browning recounted the tale in his 1879 poem "Pheidippides"

    So, when Persia was dust, all cried, "To Acropolis!
    Run, Pheidippides, one race more! the meed is thy due!
    Athens is saved, thank Pan, go shout!" He flung down his shield
    Ran like fire once more: and the space 'twixt the fennel-field
    And Athens was stubble again, a field which a fire runs through,
    Till in he broke: "Rejoice, we conquer!" Like wine through clay,
    Joy in his blood bursting his heart, - the bliss!

    The Boston Athletic Association, inspired by the Olympics, decided to celebrate Patriots' day, the new Massachusetts holiday (established in 1894 the commemorate the battles of Lexington and Concord that began the American Revolution, and the 1st Civil War bloodshed, when Massachusetts militia were killed in a riot in Baltimore, Maryland). Symbolically the marathon linked the American and Athenian struggles for liberty and democracy.


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