Earthbound is a compilation of more than fifty poems that imaginatively capture the stages of life. LeRoy’s first poetry collection is a combination of ekphrasis (poetry based on works of art), nature and relationships. Although Earthbound largely comprises of LeRoy’s unpublished writing, it also includes her poetry that was first published in a variety of literary magazines and reviews. These periodicals includes The Cape Rock, Heliotrope, Peregrine, River Oak Review, Sulphur River Literary Review, Wayne Literary Review, and Willow Review. A retired science writer and editor turned poet, Dee LeRoy, certainly has a gift for transforming visuals into meaningful language. LeRoy incorporates the artistry of various painters, such as (Dutch) Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder and (French) Paul Cézanne. And because of the nature of her work, LeRoy is not intended for the casual reader who enjoys a light-hearted poem now and then. To gain an in-depth appreciation for LeRoy’s literary creations, it certainly helps to also have an appreciation for art. For example, novice and intermediate level poetry lovers will be able to grasp the basic gist of LeRoy’s opening poem titled Meditation and The Doctor’s Visit, but may lose the full impact of subtle nuances in Chinese Emperor Huizong’s painting of The Five-Colored Parakeet and the work of Dutch artist Jan Steen featured respectively in those poems.
Using free verse as her main instrument of communication, LeRoy has chosen to divide her poetry into three nameless sections. Slowly creating a life tapestry, LeRoy mixes of natural elements (i.e., trees, animals, rocks) with relational aspects (i.e., marital tension, visiting family, graduation) in part one that represent birth and adolescence. Good examples of nature are found in Siltstone and Glass while Visit to Brittany and Letter for a Graduation center on relationships. Part two carries slightly darker qualities within the nature and relational themes that are also intermixed with turmoil — reminiscent of the trials and tribulations, as well as the joys that come with the early to mid-adult years. Great examples are found in Planting Tulips and Flowers in a Glass Vase (nature), and The Peasant Wedding Banquet and Alignments (relational). Lastly utilizing the nature-relationship combo, part three exemplifies maturity and wisdom that comes with aging and then finally death, such as in Saguaro and Ginkgo (nature) and The Old House and Kitchen Table (relational). A delicate blend of words and symbolism that evokes an imagery of meditatively strolling throughout an art museum, Earthbound is unquestionably a masterfully crafted collection of poems.