23 August 2010

A trio of tributes from my swell colleagues

1) In song and dance (from L to R: Phyllis, Darlene, Min, and Chris):

2) On-line:


3) In verse:

"A Classic Act"
Anthony R. Cannella

We sing the man:
his wine-dark eyes, his ties not shy,
for his blue-booked stacks, never a "Fie!"
"Bring them on," shouts he, by George.
"Of my erstwhile trade I'm naught afraid."
(Perhaps the shock is just delayed.)
Red plume in hand, brain untaxed,
he girds himself
(tho' quite relaxed)
for class upon class.
Therein work's more gruntish,
sometimes also fraught,
verily, with mighty labors bought,
in classrooms stark,
at times too light, at times too dark,
too hot or cold
for Learning's spark.
Yet will he prosper
and flourish there,
as when he ruled
from purpled chair

O, son of Cincinnati,
Of Cincinnatus too,
you led us well.
('tis true, 'tis true.)
O, chuckling Ciceronian
who, as Rumor told,
oft spake in perfect Babylonian,
(In Greek
And Roman, too.)
Classical or
'Tis no matter,
We cannot tell,
our words, our idioms scatter,
for like the Bard,
we've small Latine,
on trots, or ponies, must we lean;
yet our hearts be large
for the man who was
till now in charge.
Gil Thorpe? Gil Gamesh?
Nay, Gil Gigliotti!
With soft and silent g's,
not Gig-lee-otti.

Our wry philosophizer,
benevolent democratizer.
factions' synthesizer,
kindest sympathizer!
Heard you he has Greek?
Much he owes to Catholic U.
And much to
Cincy's Xavier, too.
But most he owes
to a sacred store,
Where, before we knew him,
before he kenned
Connecticut wit
or made his home
with his winsome three
(all four tight-knit),
a Clan of Rats he did detect,
in unformed form, of course:
just Young Blue Eyes,
no Dino, no Sammy,
no rascals choice,
but, oh,
that Voice, that Voice.
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Sweet notes galore
From sacred record store.

But what of the Mob?
"Part of the job," says
our philosopher king.
"Gonna make something of it?
Ba-da-ba, ba-da-bing.
Frank, well, he soars above it.
Why so many
pick that nit?
Why not 'stead extoll
the best of men,
e'er to spin
at 33 rpm?"
But what of Virgil,
Ovid and Horace?
"Good stuff," says Gil,
"but for Frank
just chorus."

And now the summer
bows to fall,
Sybil recedes,
cruel syllabi call.
(Had I but world enough
and time,
for both the scansion
and the rhyme,
this poem, dear people,
would be no crime.)
And now on stage,
the valiant Cohen,
our noble Steve.
We'll let him know
He's not alone.
But soft:
Look ye our man,
from limelight away,
O, humble hero,
Would you might stay.
Yet still he goes,
Yet now returns
with golden throat
and silver sword,
with whiteboard marker
and wit-dressed word.
Hush. He speaks:
"Shall I fear class --after class,
after class. after class?
Nay! I utter no alas!
And no alack,
This too will pass,
this teaching track.
These classes but be dragons
For me, in sooth, to hack."

One feature persists
'mid Fate's ebb and flow:
our hero's worthy habit,
his weekly radio show.
No class will conflict
with that weekly fix;
107.7 and its
away to Heaven,
where, of course,
fair Ava dwells.
locked in all Eternity.
Gil just smiles.
"Someone to watch over me."

And now, his toga passed,
toward class his chin he casts,
No need for props, like silver sword.
He is no chairman
Of the bored.

Not to mention plenty of public and private emails saying very nice things.

Have I mentioned what great friends and colleagues comprise the Department of English at Central Connecticut State University?  You should be so lucky!

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