alycewilson (alycewilson) wrote,

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LJI 10 Break Week: The Rules of Genealogy (A Poem)

This is my third of four poems for LJ Idol (therealljidol} Season 10's Break Week. This is on the topic "jantelagen," a Swedish concept of humility and restraint of personal ambitions in favor of the collective. This is a response to the ten rules of Jante from the Wikipedia entry.

The Rules of Genealogy
(a contemplation of the word "jantelagen")

A hundred thousand cousins share my blood.
My petty personal history pales compared to theirs.
Skilled botanists and jurists, doctors and librarians.
I scarce untangle their lives' filament.
Who'd they love? How'd they think? What drove them?
I struggle, as narrator, to translate them to paper.
Grandma Heritage, where are you when I need your expertise?
You never focused on black sheep like Crazy Tom (but I found him).
My story, a small one, soon forgotten.
Astride time, I scribe their sagas in the dust.

- January 1, 2017

To find out what I learned about "Crazy Tom," a relative who tried to build a castle by himself, visit this history of Bucks County and do a search on the page for "Thomas Meredith." His cousin and caretaker, James, was my direct ancestor.
Tags: family, genealogy, lj idol, lji, poetry, season 10

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