[“Tell all the truth but tell it slant —”] J1129, F1263 (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. He is signing “TRUTH.”

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 highlight some creative ASL devices, such as unusual numerical incorporation and buoy manipulation. I also highly recommend that you watch Ruth Anna Spooner’s translation on Vimeo (I think her channel is called the ASL Literary Translations).

Translation notes: I combined “dazzle gradually” with “explanation kind” because it would have been redundant otherwise.

Title: [“Tell all the truth but tell it slant —”] J1129, F1263

Author: Emily Dickinson

English text:

Tell all the truth but tell it slant —
Success in Circuit lies
Too bright for our infirm Delight
The Truth’s superb surprise
As Lightning to the Children eased
With explanation kind
The Truth must dazzle gradually
Or every man be blind —

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