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Poetry in the palm of your hand

 Digital Work
Identifier: ds_0167_lentzpoetrypalm_cap_01.mp4
"Poetry in the palm of your hand" on RIT Digital Collections
"Poetry in the palm of your hand" on RIT Digital Collections


  • Creation: 1979



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."


102.84 Megabytes (mp4)


Sign Languages


General Note

This material was digitized as part of a CLIR Hidden Collections grant: "Sculptures in the Air: An Accessible Online Video Repository of the American Sign Language (ASL) Poetry and Literature Collections at the RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive (RIT/NTID DSA) in Rochester, NY." Original VHS recordings were transferred to mp4 format, captioned, and voiced, by the National Technical Institute for the Deaf Production Services department.

Repository Details

Part of the RIT Archives Repository

Rochester NY 14623 USA