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American Sign Language Literature

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American Sign Language Literature encompasses multiple variations of poetry. ASL poetry itself is a vibrant three-dimensional art form where body movement conveys meaning. Many English works have been translated into ASL poetry, and many poems or songs, such as “The Star Spangled Banner” and “The Jabberwocky” have multiple translations. Translations come in both ASL and English order, a major factor as to why the same pieces of English literature can have varied interpretations.
With ASL poetry comes “sign play”: the creative process in which signs are playfully manipulated. Sign play has a long history, dating back to the 1800s, of sign manipulation within deaf schools and deaf clubs. Though such a long standing tradition, it was not until
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The change came about in the winter of 1984 at a Deaf Poetry seminar held at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, when Alan Ginsberg was invited to lecture, interpreted by Patrick Graybill. Graybill beautified a stanza in Ginsberg’s Howl and inspired the crowd to recreate themselves through their deaf poetry (Felder, Web). Alan Ginsberg was not the only poet to change deaf poetry. One of the more well known and most influential Deaf poets of this movement was Clayton Valli. He conducted most of the study for the literary art of ASL poetry, set most of the rules for poetry in place, and wrote some very beautiful poems such as Dandelion and Cow and…show more content…
Deaf people view it as a way of expressing their feelings and perspective to hearing people. Deaf poetry eliminates the hearing world’s misconception on how deaf people live. It is mainly used to express feelings of oppression. They show the beauty of their language through the flow of poetry. Deaf poetry is ultimately a symbol of pride. Their overall view of deaf poetry is appreciation; hearing people view it as educational. The delivery of the poem through sign is unlike any other language, the use of the signed language makes it more personal. The wonder of the culture and community draws hearing people
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