Poetry Review of 'Tales My Father Told' by C.elizabeth Elias, Aka Dzymslizzy: A Compilation Based on True Stories
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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!
Where? Who? What? Why? How? When?Click thumbnail to view full-size
Do you know about your family's history?
What do you know?
© 2015 Ann Carr