an apology and a review of Mississippi Magnolia

First, the dreaded apology. I’m sorry I’ve been remiss in posting new pieces. I really do not have any good excuses.

So I thought, why not “kick-off” a new post and make good on a promise I made several months ago?

That promise, dear readers, was to a Mrs. Patricia Neely-Dorsey to review her new book of poems, Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia, a Life in Poems.

She has been remarkably patient with my tardiness, a true testament to her Southern genteel character.

Mrs. Neely-Dorsey writes,

“My mother gave me a passionate love for reading and writing, and my father gave me an appreciation for poetry and great literature, especially that of African-American origin.”

I am always interested in how a writer draws from her own heritage in her work not as a way to enhance it, but as a main character. For Mrs. Neely-Dorsey, her main character is Tupelo, Mississippi.

For Southerners, Mrs. Neely-Dorsey promises that her book will bring back childhood memories. She writes on her site,   “You are most certain to relive, if only in your mind, some of your own most  beautiful childhood memories.”

Here is a piece from her poem entitled “Southern Life”:

If you want a glimpse of Southern life,
Come close and walk with me;
I’ll tell you all the simple things,
That you are sure to see.
You’ll see mockingbirds and bumblebees,
Magnolia blossoms and dogwood trees;
Caterpillars on the step,
Wooden porches cleanly swept;
Watermelons on the vine,

Strong majestic Georgia pines

Rocking chairs and front yard swings

Junebugs flying on a string

In “Southern Life” Mrs. Neely-Dorsey uses a rhyme scheme which is most appropriate with the mood of her work. Simple.  Happy. Innocent. Nostalgic of Childhood.

Since my own childhood took place almost a thousand miles away from the culture- and climate for that matter!- of Mrs. Neely-Dorsey’s work, I find it difficult to relate to her poetry. But I’m interested to read what my Southern friends have to say about it. Does Mrs. Neely-Dorsey’s work conjure images of childhood for you?

If you are interested in learning more about Mrs. Patricia Neely-Dorsey and her book Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia, a Life in Poems click over to


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