By Rachel Sutton-Spence
This new research is an important contribution to signal language research and to literature ordinarily, the complicated grammatical, phonological and morphological structures of signal language linguistic constitution and their position in signal language poetry and function. Chapters care for repetition and rhyme, symmetry and stability, neologisms, ambiguity, topics, metaphor and allusion, poem and function, and mixing English and signal language poetry. significant poetic performances in either BSL and ASL--with emphasis at the paintings of the deaf poet Dorothy Miles--are analyzed utilizing the instruments supplied within the ebook
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Additional resources for Analysing Sign Language Poetry
Sign language poetry also shows hearing people the beauty and complexity of sign language and teaches them to respect Deaf culture, proving to them that sign language poetry is possible. No one would express surprise that the English, Arabic or Inuit languages have poetry, yet when most hearing people learn that sign poetry exists, their reaction is one of surprise. These people have probably given little thought to sign language or the possibility of sign language poetry but, nevertheless, their immediate thought is that it would not be possible.
That’s why I wrote … The Gesture. (1976: p. 9) She also explained in a television interview for Deaf Focus in 1976 that her poem Language for the Eye (p. 243) ‘was really written for hearing children to show them some of the fun things you can do with sign language’. Of the body of her poetic work, Dorothy listed several poems as being those that provide an ‘Introduction to Sign Language Poetry’. They are as much to introduce Deaf people to the poetry as they were to introduce hearing people to sign language, and we can see them as ‘demonstration pieces’, showing sign language (in this case, ASL) at its best.
The English lines of the signed poem run: We of course, were children, so we asked for funny pets, And cake and lots of chocolate, and candy cigarettes, And cannons and tin soldiers, and cut-out dolls and swords, And games like Snakes and Ladders, and games you play with words. In the version of this poem reproduced in Bright Memory, the first line of the verse ends: ‘ … so we asked for drums and balls’. 2 It also allows for much more poetic potential for the equivalent BSL signs, and it is the sign version that really exploits the imaginative world of this poem.