For this post I am going to review two poetry books by Patricia Neely-Dorsey, a poet who uses her writing to show her love for Mississippi and the simple pleasures of southern living.
Book #1 – Reflections of a Mississipi Magnolia: A Life in Poems
The first poetry book that Patricia Neely-Dorsey released covers a broad range of topics, from southern life & country living to childhood memories, family history and other deeply personal subjects. Although I have never lived in Mississippi or spent much time there, I felt that Ms. Dorsey was able to bring the culture to life in a way that anyone could relate to. The poet’s pride and passion for her state shines through, illustrating the importance of connecting to a place and taking the time to truly lay down roots.
Although I enjoyed the poems about southern life and country living, I must admit my favorite poems came later in the book when the author delved more deeply into her personal life and relationships. I especially related to a poem titled “Know It All (He Thinks)”, as I’m sure any parent of a teen or preteen could! Another favorite was the short poem, “Waxing Poetic”, which any creative spirit is sure to understand. As I read through the collection, I enjoyed the playful sense of humor in many of the poems, but also discovered a few poems that really made me stop and think or made me smile in wistful longing.
This is definitely a poetry collection that is heartfelt, inspiring and easily understood. Whether you are a Mississippi native or not, this is one that can be enjoyed by everyone.
Book #2 – My Magnolia Memories and Musings: In Poems
Patricia Neely-Dorsey’s second poetry book looks and sounds a lot like the first one if you only look at the cover and the title, but I was pleasantly surprised to find fresh, truly new material inside its pages. As I began to read through the poems, I noticed that the poet’s style and view on life had evolved and changed a little since the first collection. Although the subjects covered are similar in some ways to those explored in the first book, they are often tackled in a different way in this collection.
One addition to this collection that I found delightful was the small collection of photographs shared throughout. The visual aids definitely make the book more appealing and help to make readers feel more involved as they read through the poet’s experiences and memories.
I also noticed that the author seems to embrace free verse more in this collection. Although there are still some rhyming poems for those who prefer more traditional poetry, I felt that this collection leaned heavily towards freedom of expression and form, which seemed to make some of the poems even more personal and hard-hitting. Many of my favorite poems were in the section that talks about loss, a subject that wasn’t covered much in the first book.
Overall, I feel that this second book of poetry naturally picks up where the first book left off and shows the growth and wisdom of an evolving poet. I would highly recommend this book to poetry and literature lovers or to anyone that simply loves great writing.
For more information about Patricia Neely-Dorsey, her books or where to order a copy for yourself, please visit the author’s website, http://patricianeelydorsey.webs.com/.