Saturday, October 31, 2009

Mississippi Magnolia

Here's a rising literary star from Tupelo! Meet Patricia Neely-Dorsey. Her first book, Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life In Poems, is already brightening up the Magnolia State with many positive reviews. Her uplifting poems promise to bloom in the rest of the South as well. Here is an excerpt she provided for SELTI:

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;
Turnip greens and hot cornbread,
Coleslaw and barbecue;
Fried okra, fried corn, fried green tomatoes,
Fried pies and pickles too.
There's ice cold tea that's syrupy sweet,
And cool, green grass beneath your feet;
Catfish nipping in the lake,
And fresh young boys on the make.
You'll see all these things
And much, much more,
In a way of life that I adore.

Copyright 2008 Patricia Neely-Dorsey
poems from Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life in Poems

To watch Patricia read this poem, please visit:
Note: when visiting the above link, scroll down to find the video!

Check out Patricia's web site at the link below. Also, if you're in the mood for a fun getaway, check out everything that Tupelo has to offer at the city's tourism web site. You'll find all the right information on where to stay, what to do, and where to eat. After reading the poem above, I'm ready to "step into" the work and try out some of Tupelo's finest southern cuisine!

Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life in Poems

Order an autographed copy at this local MS store:

Tupleo Convention and Visitors Bureau

Mississippi Division of Tourism

Visiting Mississippi/The Official Website of Mississippi

Learn more about Tupelo!,_Mississippi

The small town where I am from,
Gets its name from the Tupelo Gum.
No matter where in the world
That I might roam
This is the place that I call home.
Though I've been northeast for my education,
I've stayed fiercely southern in dedication.
In Memphis, I lived for many years,
By my own election,
And even still, there was that Tupelo connection.
At Elvis' Graceland fans come to mourn
But it's Tupelo, Mississippi, where he was born.
Tupelo is known as an All-American city,
If you've never enjoyed it, that's quite a pity.
It's so warm, so hospitable and so neat,
Everything about it to me is so sweet.
I love the trees, the flowers and the birds,
I can't really describe all its beauty in words.
Though many places in my life
Have played a significant part
It's Tupelo, Mississippi, y'all
That still has all my heart

Copyright 2008 Patricia Neely-Dorsey
poems from Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A life in Poems

Makes a great gift idea, especially in a gift basket!

Reader comments on Mississippi Magnolia:
"Your poem (Southern Life) made me want to move to Mississippi."
Tracie Loveless-Hill
Waterloo, Iowa

"Sweet tea, caterpillars and fresh boys on the make . . . where's my airline ticket?"
Mentor, Ohio

Top Tupelo Tourist Attractions in FY 2009
From Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal Article- Nov 5, 2009
Source :Tupelo CVB
Tombigbee State Park, Natchez Trace Visitors Center, Elvis Presley Birthplace, National Fish Hatchery, Tupelo Buffalo Park and Zoo, Health Works! Kids Museum, Tupelo Automobile Museum, GumTree Museum of Art, Oren Dunn City Museum, Tupelo Veterans Museum, Elvis Presley Lake and Campground , Brice's Crossroads National Battlefield.

Also, check out some of Mississippi's best independent bookstores--where literary tourism opportunities abound!

My official review of Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life in Poems

I had high expectations for this book, and they were all surpassed. I lost count of how many times I laughed. I felt so good inside, the kind of joy one feels as a six year-old who is still delighted with the simple things in life. When people get to their mid-thirties and older, they haven’t felt that joy in so many years. They have forgotten. Her book brings them back to that special time. That is the real magic here.

This book is sure to be recognized for preserving through literature a quickly disappearing way of life and culture in the country. This is a diverse collection that covers everything from love in marriage to the festival atmosphere of hog killings. The country scenes are very authentic. She moves with incredible ease from the deeper inward joys of life to the many social and light pleasures of the outdoors.

Most writers have thoughts and images in their heads. They try to translate those pure thoughts into the right words and rhythms. They agonize and obsess over how to do this. She writes purely what’s in her heart with no hesitation. This book offers a series of unedited glimpses into her soul. Without a doubt, her soul is beautiful and inspiring.

Her literary style is unique in the ability to use simple, positive expressions that even non-poetry readers can quickly connect with. Her written thoughts are not bound by any strict rhyme schemes or poetic rules; nor should they be. There is a natural rhythm here, one that she might say “springs from the Mississippi ground.” The style is as natural, sweet, and perfect as a magnolia in full bloom. Who would try to improve upon such an experience?

This book makes a perfect gift. Reflections is a quick, fun, and endearing read.