Area residents are urged to contact their legislators to voice support for the poem.
An area author who was featured during Baldwyn’s Okeelala Festival has penned an ode to bring positive attention to her home state and hopes to see that work named as the state’s official poem.
Patricia Neely-Dorsey wrote her poem, “Meet My Mississippi,” to bring positive light to the state, which is often maligned by the outside media. The poem, which has received many accolades, has been submitted in the past for consideration as the state’s official poem, but hasn’t made it out of the Legislature.
That’s where Neely-Dorsey says area residents can help.
“I am asking that all Mississippians contact their district representatives and members of the Tourism Committee to let them know they would like to have ‘Meet My Mississippi’ selected as the state poem,” she said. “I have received very positive feedback from legislators, in the Senate and House of Representatives, that they would support the work as the state poem when or if it is introduced for a vote.”
The poem was submitted last year and assigned to the Tourism Committee, but did not make it through for consideration on the floor. In order for it to be considered again, it will need to be submitted again in January.
“The most important thing is for the bill to make it out of committee in order to be voted on,” Neely-Dorsey said. “We hope for a different outcome in 2017 session.”
The author said she needs the public’s show of support to get the poem moved through the process.
“The legislators really need to know that there is a great deal of support behind the poem and that the people would like to have this as the state poem,” she said.
Neely-Dorsey said calls, letters and emails are all good ways to reach out to their legislators to voice support.
“It would mean so much to me for my poem to be selected,” she said. “It would be a part of permanent Mississippi history. Having a chance to represent the state in this manner would be a tremendous honor. It would be my ultimate gift as a Goodwill Ambassador for the state.”
Neely-Dorsey’s poem includes references to several of Mississippi’s most famous natives, pays homage to the state’s musical history, and mentions each of the state’s regions.
The text of Neely-Dorsey’s poem is below.
“MEET MY MISSISSIPPI”
Eudora’s home state
The bulk of the Trace;
Along the Gulf Coast shore
One blues man’s crossroads
And inspiration for more;
An abundance of history
Tradition and folklore
Warm front porch welcomes
With a wide open door;
A ride down the mighty river
On the American Queen
And some of the most
That you’ve ever seen
She’s music and melodies
And the mockingbird’s songs,
By valor and arms
And faith ever strong;
She’s magnolias blooming
Around Jackson’s capitol dome
And the sweet scent of honeysuckle
That forever says “home”
She’s My Mississippi
She’s “The Hospitality State”
You’re a true State of Grace
© 2013 Patricia Neely-Dorsey