Tuesday, January 25, 2011

And What Be This Poet's Plea ~ In reflection... Poet Laureate

In Reflection...

To send light into the darkness of men's hearts - such is the duty of the artist.
Robert Schumann
1810 - 1856

And what be this poet's plea
But to honor God's gifts
Be they of land, sky, ocean or sea
To know that All and One are given in grace
And in gratitude be our care, our loving embrace
Stars and galaxies, vistas of splendor and glory
Within the secrets, the miracles of Creation's story
Stardust in waves of time and space
From which our spirit we to trace
Light beholden within our heart
From where love has its primal start
Known be the fire of the Creator's flame
And we the Presence of All so named
Words to hold to the knowing of heart and soul
Reverent be our gratitude, our calling toll
And what be this poet's plea
But to honor God's gifts
Be they of land, sky, ocean or sea.

Rose Marie Raccioppi

Astronomy Picture of the Day: Orion Nebula: The Hubble View, NASA.
click on image for a beautifully detailed view

The town is gearing up to officially name its first poet laureate. The title will be given to Rose Marie Raccioppi, a Tappan resident of 44 years. Board members are excited to have this new designation.

"I instituted the poet laureate, first in Orangetown's history, because I wanted to bring attention to the inspirational power of the written word," explained Orangetown councilman Michael Maturo. "Orangetown has great artistic influences, from Edward Hopper to Elaine Smollin, and Rose Marie Raccioppi—a published long-time Tappan resident who also serves on the Environmental Committee—was a natural choice."

In 2009, Raccioppi was awarded the title "Poet of the Year," but the honor has now grown with this new designation.

"As poet of the year, I’ve presented at a number of libraries in Orangetown and book signings," Raccioppi said. "I have an extensive history of involvement in poetry."

The job of a poet laureate is to be on hand to write poems for government events and state occasions. A poet laureate is also supposed to promote poetry.

"I've always believed that poetry is the expression of the heart, the expression of the soul," said Raccioppi.

Raccioppi has already done writing for Orangetown, both through good times and bad. She wrote poems in response to Sept. 11 that were exhibited at Orangetown Town Hall and at the Legislative Chambers of Rockland County. She has another poem permanently on display as part of the "Wall of Heroes" at the Rockland County Legislative chambers.

"When I made a whole host of presentations over the years, it has been noticed that not only was I an activist and child advocate, but I presented things in ways that really touched people's sentiments," Raccioppi said. "I was never coming from a point of anger or criticism. I was coming from a point of awareness and the need for action, the need for change, to benefit humanity and to serve children of our future generations."

In 1975, Raccioppi made her first community presentation as an activist for children with learning disabilities. Raccioppi has experience as an educator, too, in elementary school, college and administrative roles. She also created APOGEE, a learning and therapy program for children of all different levels that combines art and education. Raccioppi is a specialist in learning disabilities and has won many awards for the developments she has helped create and grow.

Still, poetry remains her chief outlet.

"Writing poetry became the deepest source of solace and healing [for me] after being diagnosed with cancer in 1983," Raccioppi explained. Since then, she has had books published with her poetry and won the International Poet of Merit in 2002, amongst many others.

"Rose Marie is thoughtful, full of life, and has the pulse of the community at large," said Town of Orangetown Supervisor Paul G. Whalen. "I admire her work on other town committees, and appreciate her advocacy on building a more eco-friendly environment for us all to share. I'm looking forward to another year of her as our poet."

For your added enjoyment...
To Each Season in Celebration - to the Eternal Spring
YouTube - Schumann: Symphony No.1 "Spring" (Bernstein) 4/4


  1. a life well lived and filled with accomplishment...Bravo! The Orion Nebula is beyond awe inspiring...

  2. Thank You Theanne, Last evening's event was indeed momentous. To share what is so heartfelt and know that it speaks to aspiration, an abiding faith and a vision held in TRUTH, and have it received so favorably, does gladden the heart. Yes, Life is a gift. Let us ever unwrap it anew.