sign language poetry

i am not deaf and do not know any deaf people personally, but i just became curious as to whether there is an equivalent to poetry in sign language or not? i mean, it is a language and so it might have some equivalent to rhythm, rhyme, etc… does anyone have any ideas?

Interesting question. My brother is deaf but I have never seen any poetry that is solely based on sign language. I would not be surprised if ‘deaf poetry’ exists somewhere (i.e., a deaf person who writes/creates poetry without a direct understanding of a hearing-language’s rhyme & meter).

Of course, direct translation of spoken/written word to sign is entirely possible and I betcha that when signed by a ‘poetic’ deaf person, an additional artistic/visual flair is incorporated. Sign language itself is already very expressive.

ASL poetry has existed within the Deaf community for years; research and documentation is only fairly recent.

Check out:

I’ve always been fascinated by it, too- handshapes working like rhyme, movement creates meter, etc. Seems more expressive than much of the poetry I’ve come across!

Obviously, it can’t have qualities that sound words have but it has its own song & poetry under it’s own definitions of ASL as a language.

ASL poems are very tricky to write down on paper. It’s probably possible with SignWriting.

thanks guys

this seems to be one of those subjects that no one seems to hear about and that only a place like this could answer a question on.

Actually, I wrote an ASL poem that I performed on local public radio last Saturday. It depended on a visual pun on the sign for “all night.” The emcee asked if I’d like to translate it for the listening audience, and I declined…