From A Mississippi Poet

Hey!

In the spring, I had an unexpected offer to review two books of poetry by an author from my home state of Mississippi. I was and still am so flattered that someone would ask me to review their work and post a review online. I have to admit along with the surge of excitement also came the weight of realization of “what if.” I worried about what if I disliked the work, what would I say, and then how would I review the work kindly and gently but honestly? Fortunately, that worry was lifted and unfounded as I began to read Patricia Neely-Dorsey’s books of poetry.In his Letters To A Young Poet, Rainer Maria Rilke instructs a young writer –

“write about what your everyday life offers you; describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty – describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the Things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember.”

This sage advice perfectly captures what Patricia Neely-Dorsey has accomplished in her work. For those from Mississippi, a sense of home and place will resonate strongly in the words and take you to the front porch, the church potluck, to musings about Elvis, and even to the budding of love. But, I believe her words transcend beyond the borders of our state and reach any who feel a connection to their home, to a simple life filled with the love of place, family, and friends as well as those who are curious about what it means to be southern.

Patricia Neely-Dorsey is a woman who cares deeply for her home state and is a reflection and vocal proponent of showcasing Mississippi’s finer points. She is the recipient of the title Official Goodwill Ambassador of Mississippi by Governor Phil Bryant and one of her newer poems (not included in these two books), Meet My Mississippi, is being considered for selection as the official state poem. Her poem, Country Living, below, is included in a textbook for high school students in Germany learning English as a second language.

From Reflections Of A Mississippi Magnolia:

Country Living

It’s grassroots.

It’s simple.

It’s basic, not plush.

Uncomplicated.

Uncluttered.

Unhurried.

Unrushed.

It’s relaxed.

Unpolluted.

Unequaled.

Unmatched.

From My Magnolia Memories and Musings:

Them Blues

Somebody’s always singing

Them Monday Morning blues songs

Them sho’nuff done me wrong songs

Them stayed out all night long songs

Them moaning, groaning love songs

Them bear your heart and soul songs

Them feel it in your bones songs

Them make you weak and strong songs

Them letting go and holding on songs

Them totally yours and mine songs

Them everybody knows songs…

We ALL love them blues…songs

One of my favorites is about reading but has a twist. From Reflections Of A Mississippi Magnolia:

Avid Reader

I want to be

Your favorite book,

That you read

Over and over again,

From cover to cover,

And get lost in the story.

Not a fairy tale.

Not a mystery.

No cliff hangers.

Just

A Plain

Old Fashioned

Love Story

If you love what you’ve just read and would like to learn more about Patricia, check out her website found here. Her books can be purchased on her website or you can also find her on Facebook here.

Blessings,

Mimi

“My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.” Isaiah 32:18

Day 31 of 31 Days of Books Off My Shelf

Day 31
Hey!

When I was in third grade, I had a teacher who loved to read us poetry.  She read this poem to us for Halloween that year so I thought I would share it with you.   Written in 1885 and originally entitled, “The Elf Child”, this poem was inspired by a young girl who came to live at the Riley home following her father’s death.  The poem can be found in this book along with many other familiar poems by well known poets such as Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, and Edward Lear to name a few.

Favorite Poems Old and New
Selected by Helen Ferris
Favorite Poems Old and New 

LITTLE ORPHANT ANNIE
by James Whitcomb Riley
Little Orphant Annie’s come to our house to stay,
An’ wash the cups an’ saucers up, an’ brush the crumbs away,
An’ shoo the chickens off the porch, an’ dust the hearth, an’ sweep,
An’ make the fire, an’ bake the bread, an’ earn her board-an’-keep;
An’ all us other children, when the supper-things is done,
We set around the kitchen fire an’ has the mostest fun
A-list’nin’ to the witch-tales ‘at Annie tells about,
An’ the Gobble-uns ‘at gits you
Ef you
Don’t
Watch
Out!
Onc’t they was a little boy wouldn’t say his prayers,–
An’ when he went to bed at night, away up-stairs,
His Mammy heerd him holler, an’ his Daddy heerd him bawl,
An’ when they turn’t the kivvers down, he wasn’t there at all!
An’ they seeked him in the rafter-room, an’ cubby-hole, an’ press,
An’ seeked him up the chimbly-flue, an’ ever’-wheres, I guess;
But all they ever found was thist his pants an’ roundabout:–
An’ the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you
Ef you
Don’t
Watch
Out!
An’ one time a little girl ‘ud allus laugh an’ grin,
An’ make fun of ever’ one, an’ all her blood-an’-kin;
An’ onc’t, when they was “company,” an’ ole folks was there,
She mocked ’em an’ shocked ’em, an’ said she didn’t care!
An’ thist as she kicked her heels, an’ turn’t to run an’ hide,
They was two great big Black Things a-standin’ by her side,
An’ they snatched her through the ceilin’ ‘fore she knowed what she’s about!
An’ the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you
Ef you
Don’t
Watch
Out!
An’ little Orphant Annie says, when the blaze is blue,
An’ the lamp-wick sputters, an’ the wind goes woo-oo!
An’ you hear the crickets quit, an’ the moon is gray,
An’ the lightnin’-bugs in dew is all squenched away,–
You better mind yer parents, an’ yer teachers fond an’ dear,
An’ churish them ‘at loves you, an’ dry the orphant’s tear,
An’ he’p the pore an’ needy ones ‘at clusters all about,
Er the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you
Ef you
Don’t
Watch
Out!
Thank you for joining me for these past 31 days!  I’ve loved your comments and you being here.   Tomorrow, I’m going to be featuring a Bonus Book.   I really hope you’ll come back to see the book that has had the most impact on my life.  Until then if you’d like to catch up on all of my 31 Day Book posts, click here.

 Happy Reading!
Mimi
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”  
John 14:18  NIV Bible

Day 9 of 31 Days of Books off my Shelf

Day 9

The Poetry of Robert Frost
Robert Frost

Hey!

Robert Frost received four Pulitzer Prizes during his lifetime and performed a reading of his poem, “The Gift Outright” at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy. 

My mother introduced me to his poems when I was small.  I’ve read many of his works but this one is my favorite.

The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Happy Reading!
Mimi
“Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low.  
The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth.”  
Luke 3:5  NIV Bible