We will always love her: Praise for Parton the poetic muse
In the new poetry anthology Let Me Say This: A Dolly Parton Poetry Anthology from Madville publishing, 54 poets both professional and up and coming share their love and admiration for Dolly Parton.
The anthology, which consists of several categories and genres, looks to Parton as a poetic muse who is worthy of praise, admiration and devotion. The poems, which vary from camp, kitsch, autobiographical, and almost overtly religious, all view Dolly in diverse ways. Some poems view her as a glittery icon who while steeped in rhinestones, embodies the true definition of a rags to riches story. Other poems in the collection view her as a maternal figure who acts a mother to all wayward souls in need of a gentle bosom to rest on. And others view her as an almost pantheistic mountain Gaia whose essence pervades the Smoky Mountains and holds the landscape and its people together. With the diverse representations and admirations for Dolly, she becomes an almost living country and western Christ who in these turbulent times, helps humanity to be the best versions of themselves.
Whilst some outside of the devoted Parton fandom may view such an anthology as unusual, it is a moving tribute to a universally beloved and non-divisive icon who deserves such recognition and praise, though Parton herself is too modest to ever consider herself such a muse. What makes the anthology even more special is that a portion of the proceeds from this poetry tribute go to Parton’s Imagination Library, a charity that gifts free books to children all over the world.
With much writing still needed to be done on Parton, this touching and original anthology reiterates why we will always love her.
Let Me Say This: A Dolly Parton Poetry Anthology, edited by Julie E Bloemeke and Dustin Brookshire, is published today by Madville Publishing
Review by James Reeves
19th January 2023