Roots and Blues


Roots and Blues
  • "Circles of sounds reach out like circles of words: flow stories of from the shore." (7)
  • "Go forward. Go back. There is always time. There was always time." (8)
  • I liked the poem "Chained" on page 10. It paints a vivid picture in my mind and it almost has a sinister sound to it. 
    • Chained / in rags in blood in dark death of daylight. To survive the passage across the ocean from life to living hell to life in hell means / silent / singing / of old / songs. / Behind the eyes / the fingers strum / homeland strings and memory of my history / remains as strong as steel. / Always: this melody of words is journey home.
  • I love the art on page 12 and 13. It was done very well and it has interesting movement. Here's a picture of it I found online. Isn't it neat? 
  • What's a "griot"? A bird?
    • Apparently it is not a bird. It's a member of a class of traveling poets, musicians, and storytellers who maintain a tradition of oral history in parts of West Africa. So, they're African gypsies! Neat-o!
  • I like "The Giant Ice Mountains Slide South" on page 16
    • The Giant Ice Mountains Slide South / then ice becomes water and water moves in its rush to rise into its returning / But the black dirt and red clay remain.
  •  "But stories play themselves inside heads / and rest with song and memory of villages" (We want to think 22)
  • "Curses in the night resound through years / into the tops of trees: into the very sky. / Under the hot sun: the chop chop / hoe / measures out the beats of freedom. (Curses In The Night Resound Through Years 26)
  • I'm sorry but, the old woman on page 47 looks like an old Drag Queen LOL.
  • The poem "you know you never miss the water" on page 67 has a good beat to it.
I liked Arnold Adoff's Roots and Blues. Some of the poems, I felt, had a good beat to them and I could even hear music when I read and re-read "You know you never miss the water." I should have copied it down! Oh well, I'll do that next time I stop by the library again. I also tried searching for the picture of the woman I mentioned on page 47 but, I couldn't find her. She is hiding from me lol. Maybe, when I got back to the library, I'll find the book and take a picture of her with my phone and upload that at a later time. We shall see. Anyways, yes. I enjoyed the book and the illustrations. Both Arnold Adoff (author) and R. Gregory Christie (illustrator) are extremely talented.

However, neither the book nor the artwork within are, to me, worthy of a perfect score on my rating scale. Now, this isn't a bad thing. In my opinion, poetry can never receive a perfect score on any scale because poetry is ... how should I describe this? Hmm... Poetry relies on the reader's (and author's) mood. For example, say I give you a poem right now. I don't tell you if its a happy poem, a sad poem, or an exciting poem. It is just a poem. Yet, you've had a bad day. Shit has literally hit the fan for you today, and you read my poem. The poem, because of your down-in-the-dumps mood, reads as a sad and/or upsetting tone. Does any of that make sense? I hope so.

The same is also true, in my opinion, of art. You could look at a painting that is meant to invoke a happy, positive response however, if you're angry, the painting will only serve to further your negative emotions. Lol I'm not trying to be deep or insightful with all of this, it's just how I end up seeing things. That is why I can only give Arnold Adoff's Roots and Blues a score of
.
Even so, for a children's book, this is a well put together piece of reading material.

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