Poetry Review of 'TALES MY FATHER TOLD' by C.Elizabeth Elias, aka DzyMsLizzy: a Compilation based on True Stories


The Author

Liz Elias or DzyMsLizzy at http:/DzyMsLizzy.hubpages.com, is an accomplished writer of fiction, both prose and poetry, as well as many articles on HubPages and beyond.

Liz set her fellow hubbers a writing challenge, part of the prize for the winner being a copy of this poetry compilation. As this was originally her own desk-top publication for distribution to family and friends, who of course would have known her father, I feel honoured to own a copy and thus to have been allowed a peek into that wonderful family.

It may be that an e-book will be in the offing but at the moment this gem remains Liz’s personal project. I would like to give a flavour of her poetry and champion what is to me the important message that lies within.

The Title

Before I started reading, the title alone conjured up a scene of cosiness, a child on father’s knee or the family gathered around the fire of an evening. It portrays a father who loved his family, loved passing on true stories of his own childhood and young adulthood.

It also hints at a history handed down and in the making.

The book is in fact a tribute to a much-loved father and his real-life stories, narrated here through a daughter’s poetry. It is also a wonderful heritage and a gem to share.


The poems are prefaced by the author explaining why her father’s tales are recorded as poetry. A creative writing class prompted one story she recalled to transfer itself to the page as a poem and then ‘The Dam was broken; the nickel had dropped!’ The result was this compilation, amongst others.

Tribute to a Father's Storytelling


The Compilation

The family’s movement from New Hampshire to California is traced, in four sections, through the eyes of Dolard George Plamondon (an intriguing name in itself) who was the son of a carpenter and himself a machinist, as well as, it seems, a master teller of tales.

Liz Elias evokes a gentle humour, a keen observation of life and a fondness for people and animals.

Bonnie Boo Fst Red Leather Girls' Shoes - I kept mine by my bed for a week!
Bonnie Boo Fst Red Leather Girls' Shoes - I kept mine by my bed for a week!
Only 9 lives?!
Only 9 lives?! | Source
Another very fine dog
Another very fine dog | Source

A Tapestry of Tales

The tales zig-zag from a sister who “never liked to wear shoes; took them off at every chance” and found her own solution in ‘One Fine Day’, to ‘Learning to Ride a Bike’, “‘Riding’ my dad’s bicycle with legs too short”, using oodles of innovative phraseology to make us grin or gasp.

From ‘Upper Berth’ (On the Train) comes the situation of “Little brother... doesn’t know the porter has a ladder” and had difficulty climbing down when nature called, without disturbing the occupant of the lower bunk.

Then to animals, ‘Man’s Best Friend’ and ‘13-Dog Squabble’ present a vivid portrayal of that animal’s idiosyncrasies.

More Examples

There is a cat who stalks his prey and gets a surprise; we hope, though we know not, that a few of his nine lives still stand. Another favourite of mine involves a stolen snowball and there is a cautionary tale about bees. The collection ends with two very fine poems about ‘A Very Fine Dog’.

We come across family members playing out mischievous yet mostly innocent lives. The tales have a charm that makes you smile and leaves you with a warm glow as you absorb this picture of a loving family through the eyes of an intelligent man.

Style & Voice

These poems are written in a style eminently suited to the subject. The words trip off the tongue as a well-told tale should. It has a jaunty air, a gentle tone and a humorous lilt. There’s only one way to find out if you agree; read it for yourselves! You’ll be glad you did. Even if you have to wait awhile for the e-book, the suspense will add to your appreciation.

In the meantime, why not visit Liz’s page at http:/DzyMsLizzy.hubpages.com and read some of her work. Apart from more wonderful poetry, she writes about family (including pets), humour, travel and topical issues. If you want to know more about the author herself, read http://dzymslizzy.hubpages.com/hub/Meet-DzyMsLizzy-A-Self-Interview

Where? Who? What? Why? How? When?

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Why is Great-Grandma wearing a uniform?Where is this and who are they?Is that you, Grandma?  So who's the baby?
Why is Great-Grandma wearing a uniform?
Why is Great-Grandma wearing a uniform? | Source
Where is this and who are they?
Where is this and who are they? | Source
Is that you, Grandma?  So who's the baby?
Is that you, Grandma? So who's the baby? | Source

Our Own Family Heritage

Children ask questions; these are the answers to "What happened when you were young Daddy?" "Who is in this picture?" "Where did you get this?"

Try to find your own answers. Encourage the children in your family to ask the questions with you or, of course, to ask you about your own childhood and life up to the present.

We should all ask questions, remember stories, hand them down for others’ information and delight. Answers such as these are there for the taking in every family around the world. Make your list of questions and off you go!

Do you know about your family's history?

What do you know?

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Comments 24 comments

annart profile image

annart 17 months ago from SW England Author

Thanks, Flourish. It's good to have things in common. I love her writing and as she was kind enough to send me the compilation, it was the least I could do. Good to see you.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 17 months ago from USA

What a beautifully done book review. I have followed Liz for several years, as we are both dedicated cat ladies.

annart profile image

annart 17 months ago from SW England Author

Thank you, manatita. Yes, a loving family is everything; the more I know about my ancestors, the more I feel I know about me too!


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 17 months ago from london

Excellent review. Seems a very interesting tale. There really is not much to compare with a loving family. They're God's very own. Much Love this Sunday.

annart profile image

annart 17 months ago from SW England Author

Gypsy Rose Lee: thanks for reading and for your kind comments.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 17 months ago from Riga, Latvia

Great review and brings interest in reading the book. Family histories can be fascinating.

annart profile image

annart 17 months ago from SW England Author

Thanks, Theresa, and thanks for the share. I'm glad you're going to have a look at Liz's page; she writes such a gamut of hubs and all are entertaining or thought-provoking in one way or another. I like to support the writers here as much as possible.

Lovely to see you today. I hope your weekend is going well.



annart profile image

annart 17 months ago from SW England Author

Hi Ruby! Thanks for the comment; glad you like this.

You might find that you need to pull out the hub to full screen; the share button should then appear on the left below all the other symbols (facebook, twitter etc.)

Much appreciate you continued support. Hope the weekend's going well.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 17 months ago from southern USA

Ann, what a fantastic book review of one of our very own! Family history is so important and such a gift for future generations to have the stories that were told to be passed down. What a legacy and treasure. I have always seen Liz's comments on others' hubs and now I am curious to go to her page.


Thank you for this fine review.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 17 months ago from Southern Illinois

I loved this! Liz is a new friend of mine and I've enjoyed her family stories which were full of fun and practical jokes. I wish I could share this but there's no share button on my new laptop. I wonder why?

annart profile image

annart 17 months ago from SW England Author

Yes, you're right of course, Liz. We have a mixture of French, Latin, Anglo-Saxon, Gaelic, all rolled into one which makes it fascinating in itself. I love looking at the differences and picking them apart like a puzzle, but then that was my job!

As those who left these shores for America wanted change, then I don't blame them for changing the language as well! Of course it wasn't as immediate as that but you get my drift!

Hope you have a great weekend, Liz!


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 17 months ago from Oakley, CA

Ah, Ann--

I was just thinking; if you consider the French pronunciations of the words in your examples, I believe you'll have your answer. English in the UK apparently borrowed (kept) more from the French, and the American English is a step removed. ;-)

annart profile image

annart 17 months ago from SW England Author

You're welcome, Liz. Glad it passed muster!

The spelling is immaterial; in fact, US spelling is much more phonetically sound (if you'll pardon the pun). My dyslexic students often asked why they couldn't 'spell it like it is', though they would've still made mistakes, bless them. Theatre/theater, centre/center....

Anyway, hope you get some good traffic from this.

Ann :)

annart profile image

annart 17 months ago from SW England Author

Thanks, John. The compilation is in such a 'gentle' vein and is worthy of comment. I hope she likes it. My aim was to whet people's appetite as well as to send others over to her site.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 17 months ago from Oakley, CA

Thank you so very much, Ann. I am indeed honored. (Or should I have said "honoured?" ;-) )

Your kind words are much appreciated. An official review; something for my book of "firsts."

**blushes and bows low.**

Jodah profile image

Jodah 17 months ago from Queensland Australia

Ann, well done with this wonderful review of Lizzy's book of poetry. I am sure she will be very happy.

annart profile image

annart 17 months ago from SW England Author

Thanks, Mike. I had to say something about the prize I won as I liked the poems so much. I do like to tempt readers with the as yet unattainable!

Glad you had an enjoyable read.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 17 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

A pre-publication review - now that is how to build anticipation. I do think more people should record their family histories and if that takes on a poetic form then so-be-it. What a refreshing read this morning.

annart profile image

annart 17 months ago from SW England Author

Thanks, whonu. Glad you found it interesting.


annart profile image

annart 17 months ago from SW England Author

Thanks, Glenis. Family history is so fascinating, isn't it? My sister and I (mostly my sister) are working on our paternal grandfather's contribution to WWII, as a Home Guard interrogator. He spoke fluent German and we have something of a mystery on our hands!

I find that family photos help enormously though I have questions that sadly will never have definite answers.

Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.


whonunuwho profile image

whonunuwho 17 months ago from United States

Interresting reading my friend and will give it a try. whonu

Glenis Rix profile image

Glenis Rix 17 months ago from UK

I will certainly visit her page, Ann, as I am fascinated by family history and also dabble in poetry. I have traced my family history back to around 1730 with the aid of census records and Ancestry.com. Currently I am occupied tracing my father's movements during WW2.

annart profile image

annart 17 months ago from SW England Author

Thanks, Frank. That's exactly what I wanted so I'm grateful for your feedback. Have a great weekend!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 17 months ago from Shelton

you most certainly give this book justice annart.. your review captures the credence and makes me now want to visit her page..

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