Wednesday, April 24, 2013

"Chasm" By Robert Lee Hamm

Here is another poem that my son wrote for English class assignment:

"Chasm" - 23 April 13

I heard the sound of ev'rything
reflected in a song
I wandered 'til it led me to
a chasm wide and long

a thing to meditate upon
forsooth the myst'ry was
until I with conviction said,
"mere echoes be the cause."

I waited for a soft reprise
to evidence derive
while from the chasm's belly came
a murmur like "alive"

"I never saw a person be
so wicked and so sly,"
I said at length into the pit
and lacking in reply
I called into the black, "hello?"
and heard a swift "goodbye"

-Robert Lee Hamm

"The Lore at the University" by Robert Lee Hamm

Here is my son's first poem that he wrote for his English class assignment:

“The Lore at the University" - 23 April 13

The people, so many people,
sitting and standing and kneeling
waiting for the magicians
of the forgotten lore.

They wait for those who proudly bore
the craft of boys who march no more.

O prestigious craft
of the ancients
in our own time.

But now employ the wond'rous stage
and so appears our starting mage.

Sport and show and song
the lyrical circus
and yet of speed and pow'r.

Now it begins
as a new question
with the secret world
of publicans and sages
ready to listen.

Now let us show you
tho'ts never tho't
quite the same
with song and drum.

-Robert Lee Hamm

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Victoria L Wilkins' Desire To Learn ASL

Here is what I got from my friend, Victoria Wilkins. She is fully deaf, an oralist using bone conduction hearing aids and she also use PSE. She is successful in her life, her career life and got everything going on with her life. She grew up in her own world, the hearing world.

When I introduced her to DDPHH (Delaware Deaf Professional Happy Hour), she opened her eyes to the true Deaf World; those who use ASL really expanded her horizon. It was overwhelming for a while, but in time she finally has this inside desire as depicted in her own poem:

I long to express myself
Be free to express myself
When I have no words to say
I want to be free to express
Express what I want to say
In the ASL way.

Sometimes words escape me
There are no words to express
What I feel inside.
I want to scream!
I want to shout!
I want to be heard!

I look at the deaf and ASL
And see them express freely.
I long to do that
Express myself in the way that
I can be free
Free to be me!

-Victoria Wilkins

SEE THAT? *wave* THAT ASL, THAT THAT! ASL definitely is the GATEWAY to communicative world, a world without limits. Right now she is attending the DDPHH and other deaf events, learning ASL as she goes by. It is EVIDENT that ASL is Deaf's WAY, the artistry of communicative language! How can we dispute that since it came from inside her desire? It is the nature in making!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My First ASL Lyrics: "Must Have ASL" (2nd revision)

Since my first post, I received refinements, suggestions and even PRACTICED it with musical instruments playing. I took out and added few things that seems to go into harmony with the rhythm of music. I am posting this second revision to receive final refinements before I create (or someone else) the vlog with this lyrics.

This is my attempt to compose an ASL lyrics for deaf music. I'm not proficient with "ASL Music", if you want to compose a video out of my lyrics, go for it! This lyrics is contributed to the Deaf community out of my love.

Instrumental music similar to Neal McCoy "Another Night" with no intro and ending perhaps converted to DJ style will need something different for intro/ending.

Sentence ends with these characters: , ? and !

* 2 words per sentence = 2 beats per word

* 3 words per sentence = 1 beat per word for first 2 words then 2 beats for last word

* 4 words per sentence = 1 beat each word

Must be followed STRICTLY as instructed regardless of how they should be or sounded like in English or poetic sense, we call that "ASL Poetic License"

"Must Have ASL!"

Since Deaf isolate? No way no more!

World oppress Deaf way? no must resist!

Struggle pah won, Deaf equal power!

ASL that access, Deaf our communication!

What ASL for for? That deaf way!

Language that for Deaf, Deaf that understand!

Where our imagination explode, that true express!

Deaf fight struggle, pah ASL here!

* * wait 8 beats * *

Where ASL where, yes that Deaf power!

Forever that Deaf power, their equal demand!

Deaf true their dream, that live free!

ASL forever! ASL oh yeah forever!

Must have ASL! must have ASL!

* * wait 8 beats * *

Hearing can't block us, ASL always our way!

Their ways always fail, We must excel!

Oral not understand overwhealm, SEE fingerspell eyes closed!

Another way not work, enough different ways,

ASL our true express, imagination pah free!

Deaf imagination pah free, together we explode!

sign that union together, deaf can understand!

No more opression enough! slave pah free!

* * wait 8 beats * *

Where ASL where, yes that Deaf power!

Forever that Deaf power, their equal demand!

Deaf true their dream, that live free!

ASL forever! ASL oh yeah forever!

Must have ASL! must have ASL!

* * wait 8 beats * *

Deaf pah take over! Deaf their recognize!

Hearing never understand, what ASL true mean!

That that deaf understand! Deaf can relate!

Hand that express everything, Deaf that understand!

No ASL world collapse! No ASL deaf gone!

Must have ASL! Must have ASL!

Where Deaf communicate where? That ASL way!

We must work together, ASL scatter everywhere!

* * wait 8 beats * *

Where ASL where, yes that Deaf power!

Forever that Deaf power, their equal demand!

Deaf true their dream, that live free!

ASL forever! ASL oh yeah forever!

Must have ASL! must have ASL!

** end of lyrics **

Friday, November 7, 2008

Explaining my poem: "Deborah, My Lynne"

You might wonder what "Iambic Pentameter" is all about and why "Deborah, My Lynne" meant a lot to me. I have been on eternal expedition into the world of poetry, its rules, its design and all. Poem, to me, is a medium where I can vent my inner desires, frustrations and to understand and enjoy other poems as well. I learned to redefine how I do poetry and realized what true poet meant by "A poem is not a poem without metering".

What is metering? Metering is complicated for most deaf individual, because to pronounce a word in voice is often our major weakness. The definition of 'metering' from is:
"The measured arrangement of words in poetry, as by accentual rhythm, syllabic quantity, or the number of syllables in a line."

Metering a word is all about accents and syllables. I am going to use the word "tomorrow" as an example in how we define metering. To pronounce "tomorrow" it is To-mor-row, which is 3 syllables. Now that is how we meter a word.

There are various types of metering i.e. trimeter, tetrameter and so on. They simply meant limited number per line, for instance, pentameter means 5 feet per line. Feet mean 2 syllables per meter and for pentameter, 10 syllables per line. For example in Sonnet 18 here is the excerpt from Shakespeare who, amongst other poets, is a master in what we call "iambic pentameter":

"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate"

Now let us analyze this using scansion, the method to find metering in a line of poetry. I will separate them using the pipeline character (|) as follows:
Shall I | com-pare | thee to | a sum | -mer's day?
Thou art | more love | -ly and | more tem | -per-ate
Notice that there are two syllables in each feet separated by pipeline character? Do you notice that there are 5 feet per line? That is how we define a "pentameter". Now what about iambic? Iambic is a foot that contains an accent of non-stressed followed by stressed syllable i.e. da DUM. Now let consider this example as "iambic pentameter" where words in bold is stressed accent:

da DUM | da DUM | da DUM | da DUM | da DUM (10 syllable or 5 feet)
"da" is non-stressed and "DUM" is stressed, try pronouncing it vocally. Now let us go back to Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 verse:

Shall I | com-pare | thee to | a sum | -mer’s day? (10)
Thou art | more love | -ly and | more tem | -per-ate (10)
This point of view made me realize the importance of pronouncing a word as mentioned in most dictionary books. I started to research on how words are pronounced by asking hearing friends, they taught me to depend on dictionary books or online. Sometimes it can be tricky and having hearing friend can help a lot to practice how I redefine my poetry. So I decided to practice writing poetry by writing my wife a poem.
Ah, "Do you love me?" you say? Bleeding heart
of that I cherish doth my love impart!
Abysmal fire is burning deep within
a dream of you, O Deborah my Lynne.

An ocean billows sunny days and then,
Reflecting shiny waters back of when
our sparkling romance that our love have been!
I always love you, Deborah, my Lynne.
Now let me show you how my poem is metered:
Ah, "Do | you love | me?" you | say? Bleed | -ing heart (10)
of that | I cher | -ish doth | my love | im-part! (10)
bys | -mal fire | is burn | -ing deep | with-in (10)
dream | of you, | O Deb | -o-rah | my Lynne. (10)

o | -cean bill | -ows sun | -ny days | and then, (10)
flect | -ing shi | -ny wat | -ers back | of when (10)
spark | -ling rom | -ance that | our love | have been! (10)
al | -ways love | you, Deb | -o-rah | my Lynne. (10)
I hope that I defined poetry in a way you can understand and to better understand poems by Shakespeare and other poets. There are also different metering i.e. trochee, dactyl, trimeter, tetrameter and so on.

Now, I wonder, what about ASL? Can we do the same way using ASL? How do we do metering in ASL? What is “non-stressed” and “stressed” of a word in ASL? Let us explore in that aspect together, creating our own poetry in ASL that CAN do metering the same way true poets do their poems!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Becoming a better spouse

I've been going through a struggle with my marriage. Everyone made mistakes and end up separated. In a lot of cases, spouses on both sides tend to feel guilty for what they've done. When a separation happens, the way we live our lives tend to change, feeling the loss in support, loss in friendship and all that. Mostly, I had to do everything for myself.

Now, I've been wondering what I CAN do to become a better spouse. With normal activities going on i.e. friends coming over on weekends, making my own meals, waking up alone, watching TV alone, and not having someone's shoulder to cry on I've learned a great deal on what my spouse did. It wasn't easy, that was something that should've been done in the past.

Now, with this being said, I create this article, asking for your feedback as the opposite spouse i.e. a wife. Husbands can also participate, providing different perspectives to the other. What was your experience? What was it that you changed for the better? What are your recommendations?

As for me, I've learned that when friends came over, I have always been wondering why it was so hard for my wife to have company. When my friends came over, they were not respectful with things i.e. leaving trash around, not returning things back to where they are supposed to be, to help with laundry (typically with guys of course) and to pay more attention to her needs (because I NEED the comfort and attention right now).

I hope you would post a comment a word of encouragement, not ONLY for me, but for others as well. It might BENEFIT you as well.

I Am The Dictionary
[non-metered rhymes]

In ASL they fluently use, not caring about grammar,
Eloquently painting the scene, with their artistic glamor,
Animating their true intentions, using hands they flung,
Expressively use facial gestures, no voices in tongue.

With paper and pen, in whole different world,
Conveying the inner intentions, that their souls unfurl,
Stuck in their deficiency, seeking for the word,
I open my heart, their cries I heard.

I am the Dictionary, like an open book,
In ASL I reverse, various words they look,
Scanning through and through, 'Til they say "That!
that you got it, that word yes that!"

Replied I with nod, happily with a smile,
I Love to help, gleefully making them worthwhile,
Gladly conveying in paper, with pen they go,
I am the Dictionary, helping through and through.