Book Review: Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia – A Life in Poems by Patricia Neely-Dorsey

Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia
by Patricia Neely-Dorsey
(GrantHouse Publishing)
4 out of 5 Stars

patricia neely mississippi magnolia on amazondotcom

In a time where most people shun being called “country”, Patricia Neely-Dorsey’s Reflection of a Mississippi Magnolia embraces all that is Mississippi country living. Before you can even open this collection of poetry, you are greeted with the beauty of a magnolia, Mississippi’s state flower.

Neely-Dorsey’s poems vividly and collectively paint a picture of a life that is simple yet provides rich experiences. From the authentic Southern menu found in “Soul Food Restaurant” to the culture depicted in “Yardsaling”, this collection of poetry gives more than a glimpse into lives of the good people of Mississippi. From the “Southern Man” poem where the main character fixes the back fence to the truth found in “If Mississippi’s In You”, Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia shows a genuine pride in Southern culture.

I spent many summers in the small town of Winona, MS, where my dad still lives. I can say with confidence that Neely-Dorsey is an artist of words. Her images are painted vividly across the canvas of your mind as you thumb through her musings. Her words and rhyme patterns are simple, yet the complex imagery the words evoke will whisk yo down memory lane. I remember the “muscadines ripen[ing] on winding vines” (from “A Country View”) and using Vick’s Vapor Rub on everything “from arthritis to [a] bee sting” and “on chest or back” (from “Country Cure (All)”).

With Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia, Patricia Neely-Dorsey gives the world a book that is part biography, part rhymes, part imagination but all Mississippi!

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