Detail View: RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive: Poetry in the palm of your hand

Filename: 
ds_0167_lentzpoetrypalm_cap_01.mp4
Identifier: 
ds_0167_lentzpoetrypalm_cap_01.mp4
Title: 
Poetry in the palm of your hand
Creator: 
Lentz, Ella Mae
Subject: 
American Sign Language literature
Subject: 
Deaf Poetry
Subject: 
Deaf, Writings of the, American
Subject: 
American poetry 20th century
Subject: 
ASL poetry
Summary: 
A film produced by the Fort Wayne Public Library in 1979, in conjunction with Indiana University South Bend, to document part of the ASL poetry conference, Poetry in the Palm of Your Hand, which was held at IU South Bend in November 1978. In this film of two performances by Ella Mae Lentz, she performs twelve different pieces including translated poems from English to ASL as well as original poems created in ASL. Ella includes brief descriptions prior to each performance to guide viewers. She performs several poems translated from English to ASL: "Barter" by Sara Teasdale, "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost, "There Is No Frigate Like a Book" by Emily Dickinson, and "Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll. She then performs a blended ASL/English poem, "California Freeways" by Dorothy Miles, and two sign mimes out of Deaf community folkloric tradition, "The Horse Race" and "The Road Runner: The Chase." Finally she performs several of her own works, "Eye Music," which she created in English and translated to ASL, two blended ASL/English poems "The Glass Wall" and "The Dogs," and two ASL poems, "Silence, Oh Painful" and "Life and Death."
Publisher: 
Fort Wayne Public Library
Digital Publisher: 
Rochester Institute of Technology - RIT Libraries - RIT Archive Collections
Contributor: 
Indiana University at South Bend institution
Contributor: 
Public Library of Fort Wayne and Allen County
Contributor: 
Poetry in the Palm of Your Hand (1978 Indiana University at South Bend)
Date of Original: 
1979
Date of Digitization: 
2018
Broad Type: 
moving image
Digital File Format: 
mp4
Physical Format: 
DV-CAM
Dimensions of Original: 
45 minutes
Language: 
American Sign Language
Language: 
English
Original Item Location: 
RITDSA.0167
Library Collection: 
Sculptures in the Air: An Accessible Online Video Repository of the American Sign Language (ASL) Poetry and Literature Collections
Library Collection: 
Ruth C. Hoffman Collection
Digital Project: 
2018-2019 CLIR Grant-ASL Poetry and Literature
Catalog Record: 
https://albert.rit.edu/record=b3955824
Catalog Record: 
https://twcarchivesspace.rit.edu/repositories/2/resources/955
Place: 
New York - Rochester
RIT Spaces and Places: 
Henrietta Campus
Rights: 
RIT Libraries makes materials from its collections available for educational and research purposes pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. It is your responsibility to obtain permission from the copyright holder to publish or reproduce images in print or electronic form.
Rights: 
CC BY-NC-ND: Attribution NonCommercial NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Transcript: 
I'D LIKE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO THE PROJECT DIRECTOR OF POETRY IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND-- RUTH CASSEL HOFFMAN. DR. HOFFMAN HAS DEDICATED HER LIFE AND HER HUSBAND'S AND EVERYBODY ELSE AROUND HER FOR THE LAST SEVERAL MONTHS, IN FACT-- SOMETIMES, I THINK IT'S YEARS-- TO THIS PROJECT. AND I THINK AFTER YOU MEET HER, AFTER YOU ENCOUNTER HER, YOU WILL FIND HER AS LIVELY AND AS ENERGETIC AND AS INSPIRING AS WE ALL HAVE FOUND HER. OTHERWISE, WE NEVER WOULD HAVE DONE IT, BECAUSE IT WAS REALLY A LOT OF WORK. BUT AS WE SAY IN OUR CONFERENCE BROCHURE THAT YOU'LL GET TOMORROW MORNING, IT WAS A LOT OF FUN, TOO. DR. HOFFMAN. [APPLAUSE] THANK YOU. I HOPE IT WAS ALL WORTH ALL THAT. [LAUGHS] ...YOURSELF. SHE'S IGNORING ME. I CAN'T SIGN WELL ENOUGH TO SIGN FOR YOU, BUT I REALLY WANT TO WELCOME ALL OF YOU, AND I'M AWFULLY GLAD YOU'RE ALL HERE. I'M AWFULLY SORRY IT'S TAKEN SO LONG TO GET STARTED, BUT AS CHARLOTTE SAID, THE WIND WAS NOT WITH US TONIGHT. ALL I WANT TO SAY TONIGHT IS THAT THIS PROJECT HAS TAKEN A LOT OF ENERGY AND A LOT OF FUN, AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE'RE HERE TO DO IS TO EXPLORE. TODAY, TONIGHT, RATHER, AND TOMORROW, WE'RE GOING TO BE EXPLORING WHAT POETRY IS AND WHAT SIGN LANGUAGE CAN DO FOR POETRY, AND WHAT IS POETRY IN SIGN LANGUAGE. AND THEY ALWAYS SAY THAT LEARNING SHOULD BE FUN, SO, THE MAIN THING THAT I WANT TO SAY IS LET THE FESTIVITIES BEGIN. AND I WOULD LIKE TO INTRODUCE NOW ELLA MAE LENTZ, WHO IS THE CALIFORNIA POET WE'VE BEEN TELLING YOU ABOUT FOR SOME TIME NOW. SHE HAS WON SEVERAL AWARDS FOR HER POETRY AND HER ACTING. SHE'S A GRADUATE OF GALLAUDET COLLEGE, RIGHT? I DID GET THAT RIGHT. SHE HAS--SHE HAS WORKED WITH THE NATIONAL THEATER OF THE DEAF IN THE SUMMER PROFESSIONAL WORKSHOP. SHE'S DONE AN AWFUL LOT OF THINGS, AND SHE'S ABOUT HALF MY AGE. I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE'S DONE IT ALL. BUT SHE'S REALLY A TERRIFIC PERSON, AND I THINK IT'S GONNA BE A LOT OF FUN. I HOPE YOU'LL JUST HAVE A LOT OF FUN WITH HER AND ENJOY HER POEMS, AND WHEN SHE'S DONE, MAYBE YOU'LL HAVE A LOT OF QUESTIONS FOR ALL OF US. OK? AS I SAID, LET THE FESTIVITIES BEGIN. ELLA. [APPLAUSE] [INDISTINCT] THANK YOU. FIRST OF ALL, I WANT TO INTRODUCE MY INTERPRETER. THIS IS BEVERLY CANNON, WHO CAME FROM CALIFORNIA WITH ME. [LAUGHS] [APPLAUSE] SHE'LL BE DOING THE READING OF MY POEMS, ADDING THE VOICE TO MY SIGNS, OK? TONIGHT, I HAVE 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 PIECES OF DIFFERENT THINGS THAT-- I'M GONNA EXPLAIN BRIEFLY ABOUT EACH ONE SO THAT YOU'LL KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT AND WHAT TO LOOK FOR. I TRANSLATE SOME FAMOUS POEMS, SOME OLD POEMS. FROM ENGLISH, I TRANSLATE TO SIGN LANGUAGE. SOME I WROTE MYSELF, AND SOME I WROTE FOR SIGN LANGUAGE. A FEW I WROTE FOR ENGLISH AND TRANSLATED MYSELF. AND THEN THERE'S A SPECIAL PIECE AT THE END. EXCUSE ME IF I FORGET A LITTLE BIT, BECAUSE IT REALLY WAS A LOT FOR ME TO MEMORIZE. SO, PLEASE FORGIVE ME IF I-- I'LL ASK THAT AHEAD OF TIME. THE FIRST POEM WILL BE "BARTER." IT WAS WRITTEN BY SARA TEASLEY. TEASDALE. LIFE HAS LOVELINESS TO SELL. ALL BEAUTIFUL AND SPLENDID THINGS. BLUE WAVES WHITENED ON A CLIFF. SOARING FIRE THAT SWAYS AND SINGS. AND CHILDREN'S FACES LOOKING UP HOLDING WONDER LIKE A CUP. LIFE HAS LOVELINESS TO SELL. MUSIC LIKE A CURVE OF GOLD. SCENT OF PINE TREES IN THE RAIN. EYES THAT LOVE YOU, ARMS THAT HOLD. AND FOR YOUR SPIRIT'S STILL DELIGHT, HOLY THOUGHTS THAT STAR THE NIGHT. SPEND ALL YOU HAVE FOR LOVELINESS. BUY IT AND NEVER COUNT THE COST. FOR ONE WHITE SINGING HOUR OF PEACE, COUNT MANY A YEAR OF STRIFE WELL LOST. AND FOR A BREATH OF ECSTASY GIVE ALL YOU HAVE BEEN, OR COULD BE. [APPLAUSE] THANK YOU. THE NEXT IS CALLED "EYE MUSIC." I WROTE IT WHILE I WAS ON A TRAIN. I WAS LOOKING OUT AND I SAW SOME TELEPHONE POLES WITH WIRES GOING BY, AND I IMAGINED THIS POEM. EYE MUSIC OF THE TELEPHONE WIRES. WITH MUSIC SHEETS. LINES THAT RISE AND QUIVER, SWAY AND LOWER, ALONG WITH THE PASSING OF SPACE AND TIME. NO EARS NEEDED TO HEAR, NOR ANY INSTRUMENTS TO PLAY. EYES ARE THE EARS, AND THE PIANO AND THE FLUTE ARE THE WIRES. AN OCCASIONAL PULL IS A DRUM. HERE IS ONE BOLD, WANDERING WIRE. AND NOW 5 DANCING, HIGH AND LOW IN TURNS, WITH THE RHYTHM OF THE POLES. 5 DISAPPEARING INTO ONE AGAIN, AND THEN A CROWD, OVERLAPPING. QUICKLY, THEN...SLOWLY. SO BEAUTIFUL TO THE EYE AND HEART. ONE WONDERS, WHAT HAPPENS INSIDE? [APPLAUSE] THE NEXT POEM, "THE DOGS." I LIKE TO EXPLAIN A LITTLE BIT. THIS POEM IS REALLY WRITTEN WITH SIGNS IN MIND, BUT ALSO, I WAS THINKING ABOUT ENGLISH, TRYING TO MESH THE TWO TOGETHER. AND THE POEM WAS WRITTEN BY AN ANGRY PERSON IMAGINING DEAF PEOPLE AS TWO-- THE DEAF COMMUNITY AS TWO SEPARATE GROUPS-- THE HIGHER-EDUCATED, SNOOTY DEAF PEOPLE AND THE JUST NEVER HAVING GONE TO COLLEGE DEAF PEOPLE, AND THEY ARGUE AND THEY THINK THE OTHER ONES ARE BIG-HEADED, AND THEY LOOK DOWN ON THE STUPID, [LAUGHTER] AND JUST--I REALLY GET TIRED OF THAT. SO, I WANT TO GIVE THIS EXAMPLE. I WANT--WHY DID I CHOOSE DOGS? BECAUSE SOME PEOPLE, WHO DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE DEAF, SOMETIMES CALL US "DEAF MUTTS." [LAUGHTER] SO, THESE ARE DEAD DOGS. SO, THAT TI--I HAD THAT TITLE IN MIND. AND PLEASE WATCH THE HANDSHAPE. THIS HANDSHAPE... CAN HAVE TWO OPPOSITE MEANINGS-- "COOPERATE" IS A GOOD, POSITIVE WORD--"COOPERATION"-- AND "CHAIN"--STUCK TOGETHER. AND "FREEDOM." OK. THE DUST SETTLED DOWN. TWO DOGS SIT, FACING EACH OTHER. ONE'S A DOBERMAN--SHARP-EARED, SLEEK, BRILLIANT, SUCCESSFUL. THE OTHER IS A MUTT-- SLOPPY, DIRTY, ILLITERATE, FRUSTRATED. BETWEEN THEM, A CHAIN. AT BOTH ENDS, THEY HAVE CHEWED DESPERATELY, TUGGED AND TUGGED WITH EACH OTHER, CLASHED VIOLENTLY, RUNNING AROUND AND AROUND. STILL NOTHING. STILL BOUND. NOW THEY SIT FACING EACH OTHER, GROWLING. THE DOBERMAN SAYS, "UNFORTUNATELY, "WE ARE DOGS ALIKE, "BUT WE DON'T ASSOCIATE. I RESENT YOUR PRESENCE, YOU LOWLY ANIMAL." THE MUTT SAYS, "YOU HIGH AND MIGHTY SNOB, I HATE YOUR GUTS." [LAUGHTER] "I DON'T NEED YOU. I WILL KILL YOU. "BUT IF HE'S DEAD, I'LL HAVE TO DRAG HIM. NO! DAMN CHAIN. DAMN CHAIN!" BUT WHY HAVE THE CHAIN? YES. WHAT DOES IT MEAN? CHAINS. OH, COOPERATE. RELATE. THEN, FREEDOM. [LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE] THE NEXT ONE IS ANOTHER POEM THAT I WROTE MYSELF. IT'S A SHORT POEM. ONE OF THE FIRST SIGN LANGUAGE POEMS I WROTE. THE IDEA WAS WHY NOT WRITE A LITTLE PARAGRAPH IN ONE PLACE TO DESCRIBE A LITTLE SIGN PLACE THAT I'LL SIGN, AND THEN ANOTHER--SET UP ANOTHER PLACE IN SPACE, AND THEN A THIRD PLACE IN SPACE TO DESCRIBE AND THEN MESH THINGS ALL TOGETHER. SO, MAYBE YOU NOTICE IN THE PAPER THAT'S WHAT I DID. IN SIGN LANGUAGE, YOU CAN MAKE USE OF THE SPACE. ALL RIGHT. LIFE AND DEATH. OCEAN. HUGE, BLUE, SPREADS OUT IN SPACE, RIPPLES, BIGGER, BIGGER, SPLASHES INTO HANDS UPON AN OLD, HUGE ROCK RISING UP AND UP. ON TOP, A TREE, OLD AND CROOKED, WATCHES AND MUSES UPON THE OCEAN. CONFLICT, YET BLEND. [APPLAUSE] NEXT ONE IS CALLED "CALIFORNIA FREEWAYS." WE JUST CAME FROM CALIFORNIA, SO, WE SHARE A LITTLE BIT OF OUR EXPERIENCE WITH YOU. IT WAS WRITTEN BY A WOMAN NAMED DOROTHY MILES, WHO IS DEAF, AND SHE'S VERY INTERESTED IN ENGLISH AND SIGN LANGUAGE POEMS. SHE HAPPENS TO BE BRITISH. I WISH SHE COULD SHARE THIS WITH YOU. THE POEM IS VERY SPECIAL, BECAUSE SHE HAS A CLASS OF SIGNS AND THEN SHE DESCRIBES WITH ENGLISH WORDS. SHE WILL SPEAK THE ENGLISH WORDS TO DESCRIBE THESE SIGNS. IT HAS REGULAR SIGNS AND ALSO CLASSIFIERS. I HAVEN'T REALLY MEMORIZED IT VERY WELL, BUT I'LL TRY MY BEST. HERE IN MY LITTLE CAR, I FOLLOW THE FREEWAYS. WEST, EAST, NORTH, SOUTHWEST, SHUTTLING HERE AND THERE. ALL SORTS OF CARS AND DRIVERS JOIN IN MY JOURNEY ON THE 4-LANE, 6-LANE, 8-LANE, 10-LANE ROADS TO ANYWHERE. FAST, RACING CARS, WITH A ZOOM BOOM-BOOM AND A TRAIL OF DUST. [LAUGHTER] AGED, OLD RATTLETRAPS, STRAGGLING AND STRUGGLING TO GET THERE, OR BUST. CARRYING WITH THEM THUNDER AND WIND, TRUCKS TALL AND TRUCULENT, POUNDING THE PAVEMENT. DRIVERS PERCHED HIGH ABOVE US, BOUNCING AND WHEELING, GEARS AND JAWS A-GRIND. LONG, SLEEK, PLUSH LINCOLNS ROLLING ON SILKEN SPRINGS [LAUGHTER] IN CIGAR-SCENTED EASE. BOLD MOTORCYCLES, DODGING AND WEAVING, COCKILY TAKING THE LEAD. AND SUDDEN APPEARING, LIGHTS FLASHING, SIRENS SCREAMING, MOVE OVER, ROVER, COP. LIKE AN ANGEL WARNING THE RACE TO SLOW DOWN AND BRINGING SOME SOUL TO A STOP. HERE IN MY LITTLE CAR, I FOLLOW THE FREEWAYS. WEST, EAST, NORTH, SOUTHWEST, SHUTTLING HERE AND THERE. FOR A WHILE, MY LIFE IS SHARED WITH OTHER DRIVERS ON THE 4-LANE, 6-LANE, 8-LANE, 10-LANE ROADS TO ANYWHERE. [APPLAUSE] [LAUGHS] OK. THIS ONE IS CALLED-- IT'S A SPECIAL WAY OF SIGNING. IT'S A POETIC WAY OF SIGNING. I THINK I WANT TO SHARE IT WITH YOU, BECAUSE I FEEL THAT YOU SHOULD CONSIDER THAT A PART OF SIGN LANGUAGE POETRY. IT'S CALLED "SIGN MIME." WHAT'S SIGN MIME? IT INCLUDES WHAT WE CALL CLASSIFIERS AND SIZE AND SHAPE SPECIFIERS. THAT'S LINGUISTS' WORDS FOR A SPECIAL KIND OF SIGN IN AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE. THAT'S WHAT THE LINGUISTS USE, BUT WE CAN THINK ABOUT, FOR EXAMPLE, MOVIE. SOMETIMES, WE WATCH A MOVIE, IT'S A LONG WAYS AWAY, AND YOU SEE THESE SMALL, LITTLE PEOPLE WALKING AROUND. CLOSE UP--HA!--OR FAST, SLOW, SLOW MOTION. SO, I'LL GIVE YOU A FEW EXAMPLES BEFORE I GO AHEAD WITH THE PIECE. IT'S CALLED "THE HORSE RACE." OK. A CLOSE-UP. TWO MEN HAVING AN ARGUMENT OR A BET ON HORSES. OK? THAT'S A CLOSE-UP. NOW A LONG SHOT. THAT'S A HORSE RUNNING. AND IT'S VERY SMALL FROM A DISTANCE, WHERE ALL THE HORSES RUNNING TOGETHER, COMPETING. SLOW MOTION. THAT'S FAST WHEN THE HORSES GO, BUT IN SLOW MOTION, YOU CAN SHOW THE WHOLE...THING. [LAUGHTER] OK? BEV WILL NOT INTERPRET, SO, YOU HAVE TO WATCH. [LAUGHTER] [LAUGHTER] [LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE] TOMORROW NIGHT, I HAVE SOME MORE, SEVERAL MORE POEMS, FOR TOMORROW NIGHT. DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY QUESTIONS? FEEL FREE TO ASK. OK? [APPLAUSE] A FORMAL INTRODUCTION SEEMS ALMOST RIDICULOUS NOW, SINCE WE'VE SPENT HOURS WITH THE WOMAN WHO'S GOING TO BE IN FRONT OF US THIS EVENING. WE KNOW HER ALREADY. WE KNOW HER VERY WELL. SO, THESE FACTS ARE REALLY SECONDARY TO HER BEING. ELLA COMES TO US FROM CALIFORNIA. WE'RE VERY PRIVILEGED TO HAVE HER HERE. SHE HAS RECEIVED MANY POETRY AWARDS, AND I'M SURE YOU REALIZE WHY BY NOW. SHE HAS RECEIVED A BEST ACTRESS AWARD AS WELL, FROM THE SUMMER PROFESSIONAL WORKSHOP OF THE NATIONAL THEATER OF THE DEAF. SHE'S BEEN INVOLVED RECENTLY IN A VIDEO PROJECT BY A GROUP CALLED DEAF MEDIA. THE DEAF STANDS FOR "DEAF EDUCATIONAL AND ARTISTIC FRONTIERS." NOW, THIS IS A SHOW, WHICH, WHEN IT IS COMPLETED, WILL BE CALLED "RAINBOW'S END." IT'S NOT YET AVAILABLE, BUT IT'S GOING TO BE-- IT IS AVAILABLE? >> LAST WEEK OF JANUARY AND ALL OF FEBRUARY ON TUESDAY AND THURSDAY ON CHANNEL 2. YEAH, IT'S NOT YET AVAILABLE RIGHT NOW, BUT IT HAS BEEN MADE FOR PUBLIC TV. >> EDUCATIONAL TV. EDUCATIONAL TV. RIGHT. THANK YOU. AND IT'S GOING TO BE AVAILABLE IN JANUARY. SO, KEEP YOUR EYES OUT FOR IT. IT'S CALLED "RAINBOW'S END." ELLA TEACHES INTERPRETING, AND SHE HAS TAUGHT POETRY TO CHILDREN IN EXPERIMENTAL WORKSHOPS. BESIDES THAT, SHE HAS 5 TOES ON ONE FOOT AND HER AFRO IS NATURAL. [LAUGHTER] WHICH MEANS SHE DOESN'T HAVE THAT IN COMMON WITH RUTH. BUT HER TALENT FOR POETRY SHE DOES. ELLA? [APPLAUSE] OK. I HAVE 6 PIECES TO DO TONIGHT, AND I HOPE THAT I WILL FINISH IN 30 MINUTES. OK, I'D LIKE TO OPEN WITH A TRANSLATED POEM... FROM EMILY DICKINSON. "THERE IS NO FRIGATE LIKE A BOOK." THERE IS NO FRIGATE LIKE A BOOK TO TAKE US LANDS AWAY, NOR ANY COURSERS LIKE A PAGE OF PRANCING POETRY. THIS TRAVERSE MAY THE POOREST TAKE WITHOUT OPPRESS OF TOLL. HOW FRUGAL IS THE CHARIOT THAT BEARS THE HUMAN SOUL. [APPLAUSE] THIS NEXT POEM I WROTE MYSELF. I HAD SIGNS IN MIND, BUT I WROTE THE ENGLISH TO FIT. THE POEM WAS WRITTEN FOR A SPECIAL EVENT. IN CALIFORNIA, ONE NIGHT, THE DEAF COMMUNITY HAD AN AWARDS DINNER FOR TWO PEOPLE WHO HAD BEEN INVOLVED WITH TV. ONE WAS DEAF, A DEAF WOMAN, WHO WAS A NEWSCASTER. HER NAME IS JOYCE LYNCH. SHE WORKS ON THE TV PROGRAM "NEWSIGN FOUR." IT WAS ESTABLISHED BY A DEAF PERSON NAMED JANE WILK AND PETER WECHSBERG. IT'S ONE OF THE FEW NEWS PROGRAMS THAT HAS A DEAF PERSON SIGNING THE NEWS. THE OTHER WOMAN IS NAMED VALERIE COLEMAN. SHE'S A HEARING WOMAN WHO WORKS ON CHANNEL 7. SHE DOES THE 5 TO 6 NEWS EVERY NIGHT. SHE'S A IMPORTANT PERSON, AND SHE'S VERY INTERESTED IN THE DEAF. BEFORE THAT DINNER, SHE HAD PLANNED A PROGRAM, 15 MINUTES EVERY NIGHT FOR A WEEK, CALLED "THE GLASS WALL." WHY DID SHE CALL IT "THE GLASS WALL"? BECAUSE THE DEAF CAN SEE BUT THEY CAN'T HEAR. THERE'S A GLASS WALL, IT'S A BARRIER BETWEEN US AND HEARING PEOPLE. THE DEAF CAN SEE THROUGH IT BUT CAN'T COMMUNICATE. AND IN THIS POEM, WHICH I DID AT THAT DINNER, I USED THAT TITLE, "THE GLASS WALL," AND IT REALLY HAS TWO MEANINGS IN THE POEM. THE GLASS WALL, LIKE DEAF PEOPLE AND THE HEARING PEOPLE, THE BARRIER, BUT ALSO THE GLASS WALL OF THE TV. THERE'S A GLASS WALL THERE. OK? I WROTE THE POEM TO THESE TWO PEOPLE, THESE TWO WOMEN, WHO HAVE BEEN INVOLVED WITH THE MEDIA. THANK YOU, THANK YOU. THESE ARE GESTURES FROM OUR HEARTS POURING OUT THROUGH THE GLASS WALL BECAUSE YOU AND YOU, BEYOND THE GLASS WALL, WITH ITS FRAME AND EARS, HAVE SHOWN US THAT THE WALL WILL ALWAYS BE THERE, BUT NOT NECESSARILY SHADED, OVERLOOKED. THAT WHAT WE THOUGHT BEFORE-- LIVE NEWS, CAPTIONED? IMPOSSIBLE--IS POSSIBLE. INTERPRETER, FULL SCREEN? IMPOSSIBLE. IS POSSIBLE. OUR OWN DEAF NEWSCASTER? IMPOSSIBLE. IS POSSIBLE. THAT WITH THAT GLASS WALL, WITH ITS FRAME AND EARS, WE CAN SHOW ALL WHAT WE ARE REALLY LIKE AND WHAT WE REALLY NEED, AND NO MATTER THAT THE WALL IS THERE. PEOPLE BEYOND AND PEOPLE BEHIND CAN REACH ACROSS TO EACH OTHER OVER IT. THANK YOU. [APPLAUSE] NEXT IS CALLED "STOPPING BY THE WOODS ON A SNOWY EVENING" BY ROBERT FROST. PROBABLY MOST OF YOU KNOW THAT POEM. WHOSE WOODS THESE ARE I THINK I KNOW. HIS HOUSE IS IN THE VILLAGE, THOUGH. HE WILL NOT SEE ME STOPPING HERE TO WATCH HIS WOODS FILL UP WITH SNOW. MY LITTLE HORSE MUST THINK IT QUEER TO STOP WITHOUT A FARMHOUSE NEAR BETWEEN THE WOODS AND FROZEN LAKE THE DARKEST EVENING OF THE YEAR. HE GIVES HIS HARNESS BELLS A SHAKE TO ASK IF THERE IS SOME MISTAKE. THE ONLY OTHER SOUND'S THE SWEEP OF EASY WIND AND DOWNY FLAKE. THE WOODS ARE LOVELY, DARK AND BLUE, BUT I HAVE PROMISES TO KEEP, AND MILES TO GO BEFORE I SLEEP... AND MILES TO GO BEFORE I SLEEP. [APPLAUSE] THIS NEXT ONE IS ANOTHER FAMOUS POEM CALLED "JABBERWOCKY." [LAUGHTER] IT WAS WRITTEN BY LEWIS CARROLL. MOST OF THE TRANSLATION IS NOT MY OWN. I BORROWED IT FROM ANOTHER PERSON'S TRANSLATION. BUT I WILL PERFORM IT. OK? I DON'T KNOW IF THIS IS ENOUGH ROOM. HA HA! I'LL TRY. I HOPE I DON'T FALL OFF. [LAUGHTER] REMEMBER, "JABBERWOCKY" HAS NONSENSE WORDS, SO, I'M INVENTING NONSENSE SIGNS TO GO WITH IT. AND SOME OF THE SIGNS DON'T MEAN ANYTHING. 'TWAS BRILLIG, AND THE SLITHY TOVES DID GYRE AND GIMBLE IN THE WABE: ALL MIMSY WERE THE BOROGOVES, AND THE MOME RATHS OUTGRABE. "BEWARE THE JABBERWOCK, MY SON! "THE JAWS THAT BITE, THE CLAWS THAT CATCH! "BEWARE THE JUBJUB BIRD, AND SHUN THE FRUMIOUS BANDERSNATCH!" [LAUGHTER] HE TOOK HIS VORPAL SWORD IN HAND; LONG TIME THE MANXOME FOE HE SOUGHT. SO RESTED HE BY A TUMTUM TREE AND STOOD AWHILE IN THOUGHT. AND WHILE IN UFFISH THOUGHT HE STOOD, THE JABBERWOCK, WITH EYES OF FLAME, CAME WHIFFLING THROUGH THE TULGEY WOOD... AND BURBLED AS IT CAME! [LAUGHTER] ONE, TWO! ONE, TWO! AND THROUGH AND THROUGH THE VORPAL BLADE WENT SNICKER-SNACK! HE LEFT IT DEAD, AND WITH ITS HEAD HE WENT GALUMPHING BACK. "AND HAST THOU SLAIN THE JABBERWOCK? "COME TO MY ARMS, MY BEAMISH BOY! O FRABJOUS DAY! CALLOOH! CALLAY!" HE CHORTLED IN HIS JOY. [LAUGHTER] 'TWAS BRILLIG, AND THE SLITHY TOVES DID GYRE AND GIMBLE IN THE WABE: ALL MIMSY WERE THE BOROGOVES, AND THE MOME RATHS OUTGRABE. [LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE] [LAUGHTER] I'M OUT OF SHAPE. THIS LAST ONE IS A SAD POEM. I WROTE IT WHEN I WAS-- IT'S VERY MELODRAMATIC, BUT I WAS PLAYING WITH SIGNS--HANDSHAPES. I WROTE IT BECAUSE AN OLD BOYFRIEND WAS--AND I WERE NOT ON SPEAKING TERMS. HA! "SILENCE OH PAINFUL." WE WERE IN THE SAME PLACE, IN THE SAME HOUSE, BUT WE WERE NOT SPEAKING FOR SEVERAL DAYS. I WAS REALLY UPSET, SO, I WROTE THIS, AND I DECIDED TO PLAY WITH THE POEM WHILE I WAS DOING IT. INCLUDE MY FEELINGS. SILENCE OH PAINFUL. 1551. OK. SILENCE OH PAINFUL. KNOWING HE HAS SOMETHING TO SAY, BUT DON'T KNOW WHAT, AND KNOWING I HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY BUT DON'T KNOW HOW. LOOKING INTO HIS EYES, A WALL FORMS BETWEEN US. NO MORE QUIET HEART EXCHANGES. NO MORE PASSING INVISIBLE WORDS. TOUCHING HIM, GOOSEBUMPS UP MY ARMS. NO MORE TIGHTENING OF HANDS. NO MORE BONDAGES OF ARMS. WHEN HE'S GONE, HE FADES. NO MORE GETTING LETTERS SIGNED, "LOVE." NO MORE SAVING THINGS FOR SHARING. WHY? WHY? SILENCE. [APPLAUSE] [LAUGHTER] ONE MORE. ONE MORE. AFTER THAT, IF YOU WANT TO DO ANY OF THE POEMS THAT I DID YESTERDAY, ONE OR TWO, I'D BE HAPPY TO TRY AND DO THEM AGAIN. OK, THE NEXT ONE IS ANOTHER SIGN MIME. LIKE YESTERDAY, "THE HORSE RACE." THIS ONE IS "THE ROAD RUNNER." [LAUGHTER] THE CHASE. I'LL GIVE YOU A FEW EXAMPLES OF SIGN MIME. THOSE WHO WERE NOT HERE YESTERDAY, A LONG SHOT WOULD BE LIKE THIS, MAYBE. THE ROAD RUNNER HIMSELF. THAT'S HIS HEAD AND HIS TAIL. SLOW MOTION. [LAUGHTER] THE COYOTE. OK, THAT'S ENOUGH. NO VOICE. MAYBE YOU CAN DO THE SPELLING. WAIT A MINUTE. NO. NO VOICE. [LAUGHTER] [LAUGHTER] [LAUGHTER] [LAUGHTER] [LAUGHTER] [LAUGHTER] [APPLAUSE] [LAUGHTER] OK, THAT'S IT. DO YOU WANT ANY REPEATS? "CALIFORNIA FREEWAYS"? OK. "CALIFORNIA FREEWAYS." OK. I HAVE IT. HERE IN MY LITTLE CAR, I FOLLOW THE FREEWAYS. WEST, EAST, NORTH, SOUTHWEST, SHUTTLING HERE AND THERE, AND ALL SORTS OF DIFFERENT CARS AND DRIVERS JOIN MY JOURNEY ON THE 4-LANE, 6-LANE, 8-LANE, 10-LANE ROADS TO ANYWHERE. FAST, RACING CARS, WITH A ZOOM BOOM-BOOM AND A TRAIL OF DUST. [LAUGHTER] AGED RATTLETRAPS STRAGGLING AND STRUGGLING... [LAUGHTER] TO GET THERE, OR BUST. [LAUGHTER] CARRYING WITH THEM THUNDER AND WIND, TRUCKS TALL AND TRUCULENT, POUNDING THE PAVEMENT, DRIVERS PERCHED HIGH ABOVE US, BOUNCING AND WHEELING, GEARS AND JAWS A-GRIND. [LAUGHTER] LONG, SLEEK, PLUSH LINCOLNS ROLLING ON SILKEN SPRINGS IN CIGAR-SCENTED EASE. [LAUGHTER] BOLD MOTORCYCLES, DODGING AND WEAVING, COCKILY TAKING THE LEAD. AND THE SUDDEN APPEARING, LIGHTS FLASHING, SIRENS SCREAMING, MOVE OVER, ROVER, COP. LIKE AN ANGEL WARNING THE RACE TO SLOW DOWN AND BRINGING SOME SOUL TO A STOP. HERE IN MY LITTLE CAR, I FOLLOW THE FREEWAYS. WEST, EAST, NORTH, SOUTHWEST, SHUTTLING HERE AND THERE. FOR A WHILE, MY LIFE IS SHARED WITH OTHER DRIVERS ON THE 4-LANE, 6-LANE, 8-LANE, 10-LANE ROADS TO ANYWHERE. [APPLAUSE] THIS POEM...IN THE WORKSHOP THIS AFTERNOON WHOSE NAME IS... THIS POEM WAS WRITTEN BY ONE OF THE WOMEN THAT WAS IN THE WORKSHOP THIS AFTERNOON. HER NAME IS ELAINE CURTIS. HER LAST NAME? [INDISTINCT] - SHE GOT IT... - OK. OK. MY DAUGHTER, MY SON, YOUR ANCESTORS WERE GOAT HERDERS WHO LOVED THE MOUNTAINS AND TILLED THE LAND. AND I SEE YOU RUNNING INTO THE SUNRISE, LOOKING FOR YOUR MOUNTAIN. A WAY TO UNDERSTAND AND TO CONVEY YOUR LOFTY FEELINGS IF ONENESS WITH THE EARTH YOU LOVE. CAN YOU REACH A PLATEAU OF MODERATION? ACCEPT THE MOUNTAIN HIGH AS A SURGE OF EXULTATION, WHICH, WHEN YOU BECOME AWARE OF LIFE'S REALITY, COULD PLUNGE YOU INTO MOMENTS OF DESPAIR? TOGETHER, A LAUGH AND A CRY ARE PART OF OUR LIVES FOREVER. [APPLAUSE]
Notes: 
"This project is supported by a Digitizing Hidden Collections grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR). The grant program is made possible by funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation."