Tuesday, January 19, 2010


For the 89th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy Jasia over at
Creative Gene has given us poetic license:

"This time around we'll be composing a poem that tells our family's history.
It can be long or short, rhyme or not rhyme, funny or serious, illustrated
or not... you choose, but make it appropriate as an introduction for a book
or video on your family history. The challenge is on! The deadline for
submissions is February 1st, 30 submissions accepted."

I have to admit to a lack of self-confidence here. I've written poetry
before but rarely on a set topic or with a deadline. The last time I
did one like this was something I wrote for one of Randy Seaver's
challenges. But making it the introduction to a book about my family
history did help. I've always thought of my family as being one of
the many that came to this country and whose work helped form
the foundation of a new nation, so that's what I based the poem on.

For brevity's sake, I chose to write only about my father's ancestors
and left my mom's Irish ancestors out of this one. So I guess I owe
them a poem!

So here's my Ode to My Family History:

To the reader who may look
Through the pages of this book
That deals with the great mystery
Of our long family history:

For nearly now four hundred years
Our family tree has flourished here
By strength of heart, and back and hand
They made a life in New England.

They cleared the forest with great toil
Planted crops in furrowed soil
And in each acre that they tilled
The promise of a dream fulflled

For them no glory ever came
But they were heroes just the same
The common woman, child and man
Who helped to build this New England.


Janet Iles said...

Bill - That is a very good poem and it would be a wonderful introduction to your family history.

Taylorstales-Genealogy said...

Great job Bill! I admit I was thinking about participating in this one, but poetry is difficult. We'll see. Now you know you must write another about the Irish side of the family!

Carol said...

Nice job, this challenge may be beyond my capabilities. I enjoyed yours!!

Unknown said...

What a wonderful poem. I could only wish that I was as crafty with words.

S. Lincecum said...

I really like it! :-)

Bill West said...

Thanks for all the kind words,folks!

Leah Kleylein said...


Joan said...

With a poem like this one, I wouldn't worry about any lack of self-confidence --- just let the words and feelings speak with their wonderful confidence.

Lisa / Smallest Leaf said...

This poem would be a great introduction to a book about your family's history, Bill. I especially like the last stanza.

I've shared a poem for this challenge also , but maybe we should do a poetry edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture so that we can have additional inspiration to write an ode to our Irish ancestors. :)

100 Years in America
Small-leaved Shamrock
A light that shines again
Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture

Dorene from Ohio said...

Your ode is terrific!

BeNotForgot said...

Luv that one, Bill. You did a good job -- and quick! Heck, your poem describes MY New England bunch, too.

my Heritage Happens said...

I enjoyed your poem, very well done!!!

Sherry - Family Tree Writer said...

Bill that is a wonderful poem and would be a great introduction to your family history!

I agree, our family members who came here when there were so few people, and both the East and West was wild, too, were extremely courageous people!

Cyndi Beane Henry said...

Loved your poem Bill! And it will make a great introduction to your book!