It has been awhile since I have read a modern poetry book that has stirred many emotions and memories as Patricia Neely-Dorsey did her book Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia: A Life in Poems. Patricia was born and raised in Tupelo, Mississippi and lives there now after spending 20 years in Memphis, Tennessee. She expresses her love for her home beautiful in this powerful book of poems.
You can visualize and feel exactly what Patricia is talking about. I did not grow up in the south but I grew up in a country way of life and can relate to what she is trying to convey. Many of the stories Patricia wrote about seem so familiar because of my own grandmother who grew up in North Carolina. If you have never visited a southern state, you will be able to live a few moments in reading Patricia’s words. I loved all of the poems but I do have a few favorites. One of my favorites that brought back memories of my own childhood is titled “Summer Night (Southern Style)” It is a short, sweet one but touches me:
“Moths flicker ‘round the front porch light
Fireflies are taking flight
The sun has disappeared from sight
And all around the sounds of night.
Everything is warm and still
A sense of calm that one can feel
The moon shines bright over yonder hill
Can all this loveliness be real?”
I really enjoy how Patricia romanticizes how life is so simply lived in the south. Her words inspire a desire to go “home” and relieve all of our good memories from childhood and about the wonderful towns we all call home. Her writing puts me to mind at times the likes of Zora Neale Hurston and even the flow of Maya Angelou. Reading Patricia’s book was a welcomed break from the novels I have been reading lately. I recommend these poems as a good break for everyone!
And everyone knows how I adore book trailers as ways to publicize a book. I adore this one for Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia! The music is so worth the watching!
Here is a video of Patricia reading a poem from her book: