Play on Words Appreciated in D.C.

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Tonight is Poetry Night at the White House. The President and Mrs. Obama are hosting some of the most prominent contemporary poets of our time. The poets were recognized for the influence they have had on today’s American culture.The poetry event also includes an afternoon workshop designed to educate children on the art of poetry. 

Like opera and ballet, poetry is not always recognized for the beautiful art form that it is. This form of writing is not fully appreciated or understood by many. To fully comprehend poetry is to understand all that goes into the writing of it – the use of diction, syntax, imagery, irony, symbolism, connotations and more. An accomplished poet incorporates many of these writing complexities into their written piece. 

Sometimes, a poet’s work is not made public until after their death. Many poets are “closet writers” and never intend to publish their work. Poetry fulfills a need to express innermost feelings and emotions. It is used as a channel for soul searching and release. Because deep-seated emotions and difficulties in personal lives are often reflected in poetry writing, many poets are uncomfortable with revealing their vulnerabilities, and decide to keep their compositions private. The pick of words can sometimes bring distressing feelings to the reader too. 

In a town that seems to thrive on debate, even last night’s White House literary event was not without controversy. The invitation of a successful Chicago poet and rapper brought criticism. His work has been a source of contention due to the choice of words he uses in his poetry. For more information about this controversial poet, visit

Perhaps William Butler Yeats said it best about poetry “We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, but of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry.”

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Artists – All in the Family


I don’t paint things.  I only paint the difference between things.”   ~Henri Matisse 

I often think about the things that people find to be fulfilling and why people pursue the career paths that they do. Don’t you?  I suppose I find this subject of interest, because my husband and I are still scratching our heads trying to figure out how we became parents to a filmmaker/visual effects artist son. The influences are not very apparent, that is for sure. 

In attempting to gain some insight into the dynamics of my own family, I recently had an insightful and interesting on-line conversation about this very subject with Gladys Roldan-de-Moras, a very exceptional painter. Gladys and her husband are parents to Rafael , a 23 year old emerging tenor, and semi-finalist with 2010 Metropolitan Opera. He soon will be making his debut performance with the Houston Symphony. Artist (painter) Gladys explained to me that her husband, an engineering professor has always also been a musician, poet, choir director in a church and writes musicals. All three of their children were exposed to mostly classical music, at a very young age, in fact, while still in the womb. As young adults, all are involved in some way in the Arts – as tenor, music educator and sculpture artist. Perhaps this family could be a prime example of the  Mozart effect, which has been said to enhance children’s intellectual development. What do you think?

To see Rafael in the HBO production of Master class with Placido Domingo, please visit and to read Rafael’s essay “My Masterclass with Maestro Placido Domingo”, please visit

As I continue to further explore in my own mind, on this snowy day in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, how our son came to his fulfilling life of creating films, I am going to stare at some magnificent art! I will let you know when I have my answers, which could be strictly sharing my intuition rather than facts.

This painting is by Gladys Roldan-de-Moras. “Song from a Secret Garden” . For more information on the painting go to the artist’s website

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