Friday, November 9, 2007


Inspired by Randy's post on genealogy related songs, here are some poems, by some well-known and not-so well-known poets. All related to genealogy and family history.

We start with 8 lines from a poem I just discovered. The rest of the poem isn't genealogy related, but no one should argue these lines fit the theme.

Well—on that green-lidded box, her name was painted in yellow;
Dorothy Crump were the words. Crump? What a horrible name!
Yes, but they gave it to her, because (like the box) ’t was her mother’s;
Ready to hand—though of course she had no joy in the name:
She had no kin—and indeed, she never had needed a surname;
Never had used one at all, never had made one her own:
“Dolly” she was to herself, and to every one else she was “Dolly”;
Nothing but “Dolly”; and so, that was enough for a name.

from Dorothy: A Country Story by Arthur Joseph Munby

Here are a few that could be read at Genealogical Society meetings and conferences:

The Generations of Men - by Robert Frost
My Mother's Bible - by George Pope Morris
The Dead - by Billy Collins (video)

Here's what one poet thought while at an old cemetery:
The Jewish Cemetery at Newport - by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (related commentary)

The next three are somewhat tangential, but still related:

A patriotic poem about an immigrant's love for the country:
He's Taken Out His Papers - by Edgar Guest ('His papers' are likely his naturalization papers)

Two some will need a box of kleenex to read:
Mid-Term Break - by Seamus Heaney
On Going Home For Christmas - by Edgar Guest

I've posted a few poems before
Mother - by Ida Denyer Green
Dieku -- by Nick Beef

Any other suggestions?

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