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American Sign Language poetry : literature in motion


ASL poems should be acknowledged as literary objects with the potential to reveal something new about the human experience. This paper reviews the history of ASL Literature, then analyzes two of Valli's poems, "Hands," and "Tears of Life," with a focus on their possible literary interpretations. This leads to a discussion of several facets of ASL Poetry, including morphing, sign sets and lines, poetic patterns built from linguistic elements, and the possibility of unique forms developing in signed poetry.

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