[“I felt a Funeral, in my Brain”] J280 F340 (ASL)

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Image description: A white young man is standing in front of a orangish/whitish wall. He is wearing a white T-shirt, grey-ish pants, and a brown belt.

Purpose: I translated this poem because it is commonly studied in school, and I wanted to provide access for the Deaf community. I also wanted to explore the possibility of conveying internal and external experiences through ASL.

Translation notes: In the final stanza, I oriented the downward fall horizontally rather than vertically because it was easier to show all the worlds hitting on the speaker.

Title: [“I felt a Funeral, in my Brain”] J280 F340

Author: Emily Dickinson

English text:

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain,
And Mourners to and fro
Kept treading – treading – till it seemed
That Sense was breaking through –

And when they all were seated,
A Service, like a Drum –
Kept beating – beating – till I thought
My mind was going numb –

And then I heard them lift a Box
And creak across my Soul
With those same Boots of Lead, again,
Then Space – began to toll,

As all the Heavens were a Bell,
And Being, but an Ear,
And I, and Silence, some strange Race,
Wrecked, solitary, here –

And then a Plank in Reason, broke,
And I dropped down, and down –
And hit a World, at every plunge,
And Finished knowing – then –

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