A Broad Audience
Review by John Ballard
“Are these assumptions of reality/The shackles that need to be broken[?]”queries Rose Marie Raccioppi in “Possibility,” from The Wind and the Willow, her first collection of verse. The line is emblematic of her core pursuit to pierce beyond the illusory veils of the material world while paradoxically being dependent upon reality for drawing imagery to provide intimations of the “Beyond.”
A non-denominational devotional poet with fervent pantheistic longings, Raccioppi’s metaphors and unpretentious affirmations appeal directly to the heart. In this volume she creates a metaphysical poetry and is content to take her simple Shelleyan imagery wherever she finds it within nature’s bounty.
The Wind and the Willow consists mostly of brief meditations and what Raccioppi calls “mindscapes” which constantly seek calming epiphanies of self-recognition in the fleeting moments, even in the midst of turbulent and painful experience. At her best, in works such as “This Night Knows No Sleep,” “This a Winter’s Night,” “Away You Fly,” “Descent No More,” “But Can I Share,” “The Wind and the Willow,” “Swaddling Divine,” and “Now and Ever Blessed,” Raccioppi attains perceptual clarity and an incantatory music that might remind readers, by turns, of Henry Vaughan’s devotional lyrics, Walt Whitman’s celebrations of the unbridled Self, the near-improvisatory freshness of D.H. Lawrence’s “Pansies,” and William Blake’s “Songs of Innocence.” This is poetry that is designed to reach a broad audience.
Review by Lynne R.
Pub. Date: June 2008