With all the media attention on the gentleman who was ‘signing’ at Nelson Mandela’s Memorial, I thought I’d share my poem about my own observations of a conversation between a young couple who were deaf. I have to admit, I was absolutely awe-struck by the subtle beauty of their gestures and expressions as they shaped the air around them into words.
Their range, a vacuum of gestures.
Their language, a mysterious dance
Of lips and limbs,
Fingers and forms.
He moves, she responds
And shapes her reply.
Wordless, he takes it
And remodels his answer.
Working their conversation;
Perfecting in a soundless world –
They listen without hearing,
Translating this silence into meaning.
by Emma van Woerkom ©2013