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Linkback Perk Poem: "Lead Us in Peace" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Linkback Perk Poem: "Lead Us in Peace"
This is the linkback perk poem for the May 2, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. Link to the fishbowl, comment below this post, and get a new verse of "Lead Us in Peace." It was inspired by a prompt from DW user Chanter_greenie during the April 18, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It belongs to the series Clay of Life.


"Lead Us in Peace"


Along a southern road,
Menachem and Yossele
came upon a wagon full of
a whole family chattering
in a foreign language.

"I believe that's Ladino,"
Menachem said as they
came abreast of the wagon.

He called out in Hebrew, and
the grandfather gladly leaned out
to talk with him for a while.

As it turned out, Pandjuro was
a tinsmith, while his son Dafret
had gone into copper instead.

"Would you like to ride with us
for a while?" Pandjuro said. "It is
safer to travel in numbers, and with
a blacksmith our customers could get
a great deal of mending done at once."

"I would like that, if you don't mind
that my apprentice Yossele is
a golem," said Menachem.

"No trouble at all," said Pandjuro,
then turned to Yossele and made
some intricate gesture with his hands.

Yossele gave him a blank look.

"Oh, you don't sign?" said Pandjuro.
"That must make conversation difficult."

Yossele nodded.

"We get by," Menachem said.
"You know of a better way?"

"Yes, my granddaughter Biyla
fell in love with a boy from Ghardaia,
so we're trying to learn his sign language
before the wedding," said Pandjuro.
"Would you like to learn it too?"

Yossele bobbed his head eagerly.

"Yes, please," said Menachem.
"I would like to work on Ladino, too --
I only know a few words."

"Then you and I may start with
Ladino, while Yossele begins on
Ghardaia," said Pandjuro. "Biyla!
Come out and meet our new friends."

A young woman with long black braids
scrambled out of the wagon. Her hands
fluttered like clever birds. Then she said,
"May it be Your will, G d, our G d and the G d
of our fathers, that You should lead us in peace
and direct our steps in peace, and guide us
in peace, and support us in peace, and cause us
to reach our destination in life, joy, and peace."

Hesitantly, Yossele tried to copy what
she had signed to him, and Biyla
grinned in encouragement.

* * *

Notes:

Pandjuro, a grandfather and traveling tinsmith

Dafret, son of Pandjuro, a traveling coppersmith

Biyla, daughter of Dafret, granddaughter of Pandjuro

* * *

"May it be Your will, G d, our G d and the G d of our fathers, that You should lead us in peace and direct our steps in peace, and guide us in peace, and support us in peace, and cause us to reach our destination in life, joy, and peace (If one intends to return immediately, one adds: and return us in peace). Save us from every enemy and ambush, from robbers and wild beasts on the trip, and from all kinds of punishments that rage and come to the world. May You confer blessing upon the work of our hands and grant me grace, kindness, and mercy in Your eyes and in the eyes of all who see us, and bestow upon us abundant kindness and hearken to the voice of our prayer, for You hear the prayers of all. Blessed are You G d, who hearkens to prayer."
-- Text of the Travelers Prayer

There are a variety of Jewish languages. Hebrew is the sacred language of all Jews. Ladino is a Judeo-Spanish language spoken by Sephardic Jews.

Algerian Jewish Sign Language includes a variety of village sign languages such as Ghardaia Sign Language.


[To be continued ...]

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5 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
mdlbear From: mdlbear Date: May 3rd, 2017 03:04 am (UTC) (Link)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: May 3rd, 2017 03:10 am (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

From: (Anonymous) Date: August 16th, 2017 08:06 am (UTC) (Link)
>> "Oh, you don't sign?" said Pandjuro.
"That must make conversation difficult." <<

The bit of body's brain that knows ASL just stood up at attention.

There are so many language/communication conflicts in movies that could be resolved if somebody just learned how to sign. Which is unbelievable - if somebody has a limitation, then the obvious course of action should be to find solutions. But drama is easier, gets more views, and doesn't ask the writers to think.

- S.
thnidu From: thnidu Date: November 19th, 2017 01:44 am (UTC) (Link)
«The bit of body's brain that knows ASL just stood up at attention.»

Mine too. I'm a retired linguist, and my graduate work and dissertation were on ASL.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 19th, 2017 03:03 am (UTC) (Link)

Yay!

I still think that's awesome.

I'm a big fan of somatic languages. One of the things that fascinates me most about them is that while all languages are a mix of abstract and representative features, most audio languages are heavily abstract while most sign languages are more representative -- and a few sign languages are quite strongly representative. So it's really fun to make comparisons.

Sprawled across various series, I have characters who use ASL, several other national ones, Plains Indian Sign, some unspecified, and a few F&SF versions. And I've picked up fragments from pretty much every language I ever brushed up against, which makes life interesting.

Feel free to prompt for more sign language if you like it.
5 comments or Leave a comment