A ROAD DOWN IN THE SEA by Lorenz Graham


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Read again an old story. Behold a new vision,"" another dimension: ""The Egypt people hold the Hebrews tight/ And make them slaves/ And make them work the farm/ And work the road/ And work some kind of hard. . . ."" As in Every Man Heart Lay Down (1969, p. 940. J-359, and also from How God Fix Jonah), Mr. Graham's eloquence is cheapened -- almost challenged -- by the pictures, mannered in more than one manner and deaf to the introductory exhortation: ""Sway with the rhythm of the storyteller. Feel the beat of the drums."" Give in to the drama -- this could be a play: the story has inherent dynamism; Graham's ""sharper images"" are visual; his sounds swell integrally as they echo ""the idiom of Africans (Liberians) newly come to English speech."" Solemn yet relaxed, the lines combine a sense of the numinous with the earthy in fine timing: when the parting of the waters opens a road down in the sea, ""The people fear to go/ But Moses lead/ And one man go behind/ Then two, then three, then plenty more,/ And all the people follow through/ And no man wet him foot."" But for the illustrations, a book that enjoins participation; and, regardless, a mightily suggestive resource.

Pub Date: Jan. 22nd, 1971
Publisher: T. Y. Crowell