Monday, April 29, 2013

Bad Review for Reflections...NOT!

As you know, April is National Poetry Month.
On a recent blog tour as a featured guest on various blogs across the country ,to celebrate poetry ...and the south, I received a review for Reflections of 2.5 Stars (out of 5) from a reviewer in New Mexico.
This is the lowest ranking review that I have received, since I first published in 2008.
Actually, out of 70 reviews on Amazon, I have an overall 4.8 star ranking
with all of them being 4 and 5 star ratings..and ONE 3 rating.

The blog tour organizers, have a policy of not posting reviews that are below a 3 .
Anything below a 3 is considered a negative review.
In my eyes, this review is not negative/bad at all !
Actually, I agree with almost everything in the review...with a positive slant.
I will break the review down point by point to let you know why, in my opinion, it's a great review !

Here is the Amazon review :

Point 1: In Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia we are treated to a virtual tour of the south through the words of author Patricia Neely Dorsey.

PND: Yes ! Sounds good to me ! That is exactly what I hope to do !
I want to give readers an up close and personal view/tour of this beautiful place that I call home.

Point 2:
Through the youthful voice of her musings, we are given a simple idea of what life is like in the south.

PND:The poems are definitely written from a youthful voice and a childlike point of view! I still have a very childlike wonder and awe of the world around us. I am still amazed at a beautiful sunset or full moon , as though it were the first time that I had every seen it. I love that sense of wonderment at the world around us. I got it from my Dad and I appreciate it SO much ! it is a gift that I hope I never lose !
Yes, my poems are VERY simple. I love it that way !
I don't talk in complicated, flowery language using long , complicated hard to understand words,and I don't write that way either .
On my website I write :
I believe that poetry should be assessable,readable,and enjoyable for all ages. I think that Reflections fits that description. With it's simple language and relatable themes, it can be read ,enjoyed and understood by readers of all ages 8 to 80 (and beyond). There is definitely something in Reflections for everyone.
I also write
I must admit an affinity for the familiar, the common, the everyday, the ordinary and the simple things of life. Reflections is essentially "shapshots' from my life in written form of people, places, events and lessons learned.
The reviewer says that I definitely DO give an idea about what life is like in the south.

Point 3:
We are given poems about all aspects of southern living and it is very easy to envision some of the things that the author describes.

PND: I LOVE the fact that the reviewer says that my book gives poems that cover all aspects of southern life. I believe that it is a poets job/goal is to paint clear ,pictures with words .The reviewer says that it is VERY EASY to envision the things that I describe. I must have painted some very clear pictures !

Point 4:
The poems though youthful and often whimsical some seemed to be written for the sake of writing them. As I read through Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia I couldn’t help but feel that the words felt forced.

PND: This is the only point in the review that I really disagree with .She might have meant that the rhyme schemes seemed forced, but that is the they came to me
They were not forced at all. I really don't understand what she meant when she says that they seemed to be just for the sake of writing them, Again, I wrote them down, because they came to me. They were given to me to write. So, maybe they were written just because .
In the Preface of Reflections I wrote: I always hesitate to call myself a poet. I feel more like a vessel or conduit through which the poems flow. I never intentionally sat down to write any of them. They all came to be fully complete and neatly packaged, title and all. I just put them down on paper.
I wrote my very first poem in February 2007. I woke up on Valentine's Day 2007 with the words of "Our Place" forcefully dancing around in my head. I quickly got up and scribbled it down. To this day, it remains one of my favorites along with "Let's" and "Mississippi Man".

Point 5:
There were many poems that I think barely touched the surface of the topic approached and I would have loved to have seen the author dig a little deeper.

PND: The reason why I see this as a positive statement is that it seems to indicate that the reader wanted to know more about what she was reading .
She did say: "I would have LOVED to have seen the author dig a little deeper."
If you are not interested in something , you definitely don't want to know any more.
So, it certainly seems to indicate that her curiosity and interest were peaked.

Overall, Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia was just not something that I could get into, with almost every poem rhyming I often felt like the poems were childlike, leaving a lot to be desired. I think that this book would appeal to those that are looking for fun poems that do not deal in the deeper or darker sides of life.

PND:The poems are definitely not the deep type of verse that make you have to sit and ponder what they mean. They don't delve into the mysteries of the universe. They are plain, upfront and simple.  I do not focus or dwell on the darker side of things or negative things in life or in my poetry.  I make it very clear that in my poems, I attempt to give a POSITIVE glimpse into the southern way of life.
I had a wonderfully FUN, simple, country, southern upbringing.  I love the simple things in life and my poems reflect that.
P.S. Actually, there is a lot of deeper meaning beneath the simple words of many of my poems, if you do want to DIG for it

WOO HOO !! To a GREAT (in my opinion) REVIEW for Reflections
P.S. The review was very short and SIMPLE.
It left me thinking that I would have LOVED to have seen the reviewer dig a little deeper." (smile) 

Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life in Poems


  1. Okay, so I went to school for journalism and I have a minor in English. I took the creative writing classes and I took a poetry class one year. It was very intense. And ironically I was the ONLY person in the class that rhymed with my poetry. While I was trying to learn how to write like other people, they were so amazed at my ability to rhyme. And they enjoyed the story telling..

    I enjoyed their form as well. Everyone has a different style. That's what makes us all unique. Southern living is simple living. You seize the moment, you enjoy the breeze, the scenery, and you embrace nature. It doesn't take much to make you happy and it's so easy to appreciate.

    My teacher taught me about forced rhyming and I noticed myself doing it a lot, but it wasn't a crime of any sort. And I almost gave up on writing a poetry book because I would go to the poetry section in the store and see all these DEEP books and I would be left puzzled about what I had just read. And in some instances very intimidated to say the least.

    A friend of mine told me that God called me to be different and He has gifted me to write on a level where people could understand it and get something from it and not be confused by it. And I said all that to say, your poems are the same. They are simple, fun, and unique. I smile as I read them and I know it was the spirit that they were written in.

    I don't knock people who may want to delve deeper, I do it sometimes, but somethings just "ain't that deep" and it may not take all that to capture those experiences. Even though they were written simply, they do reflect a much deeper meaning of life. They reflect the things that people value---the simple things in life are what mean the most to many people. And what you have done, Ms. Patricia is help us to appreciate the little things in life and enjoy those precious moments.

    You've shown me that life doesn't have to be complicated and that we can enjoy God's gifts daily: family, fun, food, and friends! These are blessings that we should never take for granted.

    I love your approach and I enjoyed the read! I absolutely adore who you are as an author. You were sent by God to keep memories alive and inspire people. So thank you! :-)

    1. Thank you so much for a beautiful comment ...well almost another review !!! :) You and so many others totally "get" what I am trying to convey and how I am trying to conveey it .
      You should be my PR person !
      You said so much of what I feel about poetry writing..individual styles and gifts and the courage to write from ones own unique voice.