Family Legacy in Poetry

My local paper, the Arizona Daily Star, just picked up a column by Ted Kooser, the Poet Laureate of the United States. The first column carried by the paper featured a wonderful poem by Andrei Guruianu that relates to family history in a very personal way. The poem really resonates with me; I hope you enjoy it.

Grandfather
by Andrei Guruianu

Dead before I came into this world, grandfather,
I carry your name, yet I’ve never met you.
I hear my name, and know
that somehow they refer to you.
When I scribble those six letters
fast, to sign some document
or print them neatly in a box,
I feel your presence flow with the ink
stain and burn through the paper,
forever imprinted in my mind.
Late summer nights
gathered around the dinner table,
leftovers being cleared away,
faces clouded in cigarette smoke,
I hear voices pass the word
back and forth in reverence.
Somehow I know it’s not me
the little one grabbing for attention.
They speak of you, Andrei,
the one I’ve never met,
whose name I carry.

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