Mississippi Magnolia- Southern Poems

SOUTHERN POEMS :Celebrating the South- Promoting a Positive Mississippi


Glowing Review-Mississippi Libraries

Posted by patricianeelydorsey on October 11, 2009 at 2:13 PM


Hey gang!

Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia recently received a glowing review in the Fall 2009 issue of Mississippi Libraries

Check it out!!


Neely-Dorsey, Patricia. Reflections of

a Mississippi Magnolia: A Life in Poems.

Jonesboro, AR: GrantHouse Publishers,

2007. 90 pp. $15.00 (paperback)


In Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia:

A Life in Poems, Patricia Neely-

Dorsey has written, in poetic form, a kind

of primer on southern life, manners, and

customs. Her collection of seventy-two

short poems is divided into seven sections:

Southern Life, Country Living, Childhood

Memories, Family History, Getting Personal,

Intimacies, and Summing Things Up.

This is not the angst-ridden poetry of a

tortured soul; instead, “Loving Me” and

“Happy (With the Nappy)” reveal a

woman who is happy, secure, and comfortable

with herself. Free of strict meter,

but usually rhyming, Neely-Dorsey’s poetry

captures images of nature, people, rural

activities, social gatherings, and, of

course, all kinds of food. “Hog Killing

Time” depicts the tasks performed in

preparing a hog for eating; “Country Doctor”

paints a loving, respectful portrait of

the poet’s father in his profession; and

“Right to Vote” is a gentle reminder of the

great difficulties that have been overcome,

so that black people could vote in elections.

It is clear Neely-Dorsey also enjoys

playing with the rhythm of words and

speech, as evidenced in “Neighborhood

Groceries,” “Partyline,” and “Country Living.”

While Neely-Dorsey received her college

education in the Northeast (shown in

her lighthearted frustrations with northern

expressions in “Boston”), it is obvious

from “Mississippi Morning” and “If Mississippi’s

In You” that she deeply loves the

South, especially her native Mississippi.

As she expresses in “Mississippi Through

and Through,” “…I breathe Mississippi. I

move Mississippi. I think Mississippi. I feel

Mississippi. I am, simply, Mississippi

through and through.” This little book of

poems is recommended for all Mississippi

libraries, and will move the reader closer to

understanding just what a “Mississippi

Magnolia” girl is.


Rick Torgerson


Delta Stae University

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1 Comment

Reply Jessica
3:22 PM on October 17, 2009 
Hi Ms Neely,

Thank you so much for bringing your wit, charm and personality to the world wide web. I was raised in rural NY and am so drawn to country living, farms, etc. Your poems take me back to that place of comfort. The south is definitely different than the north but the emotions and feelings of a sweet childhood are all there. Thank you so much!

Black Lily
Sugar Hill