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A poem by Loy Edgar Golladay (Deaf Historian) about Laurent Clerc which he read to a crowd in La Balme-les-Grottes, France in October 1980.

Fever and fire had scarred his baby cheek, 

And burned away sweet scent of flower and tree,

The music of his mother’s voice grew weak, 

Grew silent, All his life he was to be 

The Master Teacher, who could ease the bleak

A soundless lives beyond the Western Sea,

He did not flinch to face that far, strange land;

And we who hear not, count him with us still

Who showed us how, beyond each barren hill, 

Life’s vistas beckon toward a scene more grand;

Who by example and precept has taught

That obstacles when faced, dissolve to naught.


From an ancient poet society in France. Laurent was often used or participated in demonstrations with or by his mentor, the Abbe Sicard. Sicard was promoting his school and teaching methods for the Deaf in the cities throughout France. This references one of the demonstrations in Toulouse in 1809. It was usually function hall presentation that might include dinner and wine with esteemed academics and functionaries.

In this particular presentation there is a gentleman, a M. d'Aguilar, a member of the Academy of Floral Games, asking Laurent questions.  As it turns out the Academy of Floral Games is one of the “ most ancient literary institutions of the Western world, founded in 1323 in Toulouse.”


M. d’Aguilar, after some of that wine perhaps came up with this poem about the Abbe Sicard after seeing Laurent perform.


“O new Promethee! O you whose genius,

By powerful magic,

Makes the word feel and knows how to paint the sound,

We admired your learned lessons,

And your profonde theory,

Always be human,

The Helpful Comforter,

The follower of the truth,

Of the deaf and the dumb the respectable Solon,

And the honor of this quote.

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