. The Heavy Launch of the Siegfried Idyll The landing offered just the space required for Wagner and the band that he had hired to play the idyl Cosima inspired, the mother of young Siegfried, whom he’d sired. The able men there present were quite tired from long rehearsal, yet prepared and fired for Siegfried Idyll’s birth. The landing’s floor was finest alabaster, while on the walls hung sconces cast in plaster; bright sunshine through a window lit the master. But his slow tempi courted a disaster: he would not drive his forces to play faster. Serenity, not speed, the music’s caster would have, to show its worth. Though minor next to most of his ambitions, the feat required the boldest of decisions: that landing had to hold fourteen musicians to offer in the first of all renditions this birthday gift, tenderest of Wagner’s visions— a tonal greeting borne of old traditions, joy mixed with quiet mirth. Think of the weight that landing had to bear for nearly half an hour, the strain each stair, the riser and the tread, too, had to share. More than four centuries of wear and tear Tribschen had seen. Had those assembled there known, none would have played, even on a dare, but thought about his girth. . Poet's Note: The Siegfried Idyll was written in 1870 as a birthday greeting for Cosima Wagner, née Liszt, whom Wagner had married a few months earlier. Its music is drawn mainly from Wagner’s Siegfried, completed in 1871. The site of the first performance was Tribschen, a fifteenth-century villa now part of Lucerne. . . . Julian D. Woodruff, who contributes poetry frequently to the Society of Classical Poets, writes poetry and short fiction for children and adults. He recently finished 2020-2021, a poetry collection. A selection of his work can be read at Parody Poetry, Lighten Up Online, Carmina Magazine, and Reedsy.