Thursday, April 17, 2008

Poem in My Pocket day

I am not really a poetry fan, no matter how hard I try ... and not very creative, either, in terms of writing poetry. So I'll rely on the wonderful work of other poets to celebrate National Poetry Month and Poem in Your Pocket day, which is today! Thanks to Lisa at the Small-Leaved Shamrock blog for the prompt!

Here are my favorite genealogy poems:

The Elusive Ancestor
by Merrell Kenworthy


I went searching for an ancestor. I cannot find him still.
He moved around from place to place and did not leave a will.
He married where a courthouse burned. He mended all his fences.
He avoided any man who came to take the U.S. Census.


He always kept his luggage packed, this man who had no fame.
And every 20 years or so, this rascal changed his name.
His parents came from Europe. They should be upon some list
of passengers to U.S.A., but somehow they got missed.


And no one else in this world is searching for this man.
So, I play genea-solitaire to find him if I can.
I'm told he's buried in a plot, with tombstone he was blessed;
but the weather took engraving, and some vandals took the rest.


He died before the county clerks decided to keep records.
No Family Bible has emerged, in spite of all my efforts.
To top it off this ancestor, who caused me many groans,
Just to give me one more pain, betrothed a girl named JONES.


-------------------------------------------

Grandma Climbed The Family Tree
by Virginia Day McDonald, Macon, GA

There’s been a change in Grandma, we’ve noticed as of late
She’s always reading history, or jotting down some date.
She’s tracing back the family, we’ll all have pedigrees,
Grandma’s got a hobby, she’s Climbing Family Trees....

Poor Grandpa does the cooking, and now, or so he states,
he even has to wash the cups and the dinner plates.
Well, Grandma can’t be bothered, she’s busy as a bee,
Compiling genealogy for the Family Tree.

She has not time to baby-sit, the curtains are a fright.
No buttons left on Grandpa’s shirt, the flower bed’s a sight.
She’s given up her club work, the serials on TV,
The only thing she does nowdays is climb the Family Tree.

The mail is all for Grandma, it comes from near and far.
Last week she got the proof she needs to join the DAR.
A monumental project - to that we all agree,
A worthwhile avocation - to climb the Family Tree.

There were pioneers and patriots mixed with our kith and kin,
Who blazed the paths of wilderness and fought through thick and thin.
But none more staunch than Grandma, whose eyes light up with glee,
Each time she finds a missing branch for the Family Tree.

To some it’s just a hobby, to Grandma it’s much more.
She learns the joys and heartaches of those who went before.
They loved, they lost, they laughed, they wept -- and now for you and me,
They live again in spirit around the Family Tree.

At last she’s nearly finished, and we are each exposed.
Life will be the same again, this we all suppose.
Grandma will cook and sew, serve crullers with our tea.
We’ll have her back, just as before that wretched Family Tree.

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There are more genealogy poems at several web sites, including

* http://loricase.com/poems.html,
* http://www.pennyparker2.com/poems.html
* http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~parrottreilly/poems.html

among others.

2 comments:

pulpstress said...

I especially like the 2nd poem. I've only just started my research and I can tell already this is going to consume a very large portion of my life. I'm not a grandma (in fact, I haven't any children at all; not even married), but I can definitely relate to this.

Laura said...

And I liked the first poem especially well. It reminded me so strongly of one of my ggg grandfathers, Moses V. Williams!