Through poems and poetic prose pieces, acclaimed children's author Arnold Adoff celebrates that uniquely American form of music called the blues. In his signature “shaped speech” style, he creates a narrative of moments and joyous music, from the drums of the ancestors, the red dirt of the plantations, the current of the mighty Mississippi, and the shackles, blood, and tears of slavery. Each chop of the ax is a beat, each lash of the whip fashions another line on the musical staff. But each sound also creates the chords and harmonies that preserve the ancestors and their stories, and sustain life, faith, and hope into our own times.
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Blood signifies death but also “the / r i c h / red / c h i l d / b i r t h / c o l o r / o f / j o y.” Spare, spondaic lines pulse, connecting the mundane (church, cooking) with the music’s transcendence.Dec 22 2010 | Read Full Review of Roots and Blues: A Celebration
If I go back to William Blake and to Whitman, to Cummings and Dylan Thomas, I’m happy to put them—from my conscious perspective—alongside Richard Wright and Ralph Ellison, and then go back to Big Bill Broonzy, as I was getting radicalized as a young teen.Apr 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Roots and Blues: A Celebration