A sign!

24 Jan

When we think about distinctively visual texts, we tend to think of texts with particularly evocative images or language.  While these are undoubtedly important, and arguably form the basis of most of the texts studied in English, it seems to me that it is possible for a text to be distinctively visual even without these elements.

A case in point is ‘Sign Language‘, a Spoken Word poem by Rives.  In this poem, Rives shares some of the poems and experiences of students at a high school for deaf people.   As such, interspersed between his explanation and translation are beautiful moments of animated silence.  What do I mean by this?  Well, the moments when his hands sign stories, and the emotion on his face and the simplicity of the gestures create in the minds of the audience a clear visual of both the substance of the narrative and the emotion that inspired it.

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