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Greetings poets! The dVerse Poets bar is open for Tuesday Poetics and I’m Kim of Writing in North Norfolk, your bartender for today.

I recently re-read a poem by one of my favourite writers: ‘Heredity’ by Thomas Hardy.

Thomas Hardy, writer and cyclist, at his home in Dorchester, early 1920s.

Thomas Hardy at his home in Dorchester, early 1920s. Photograph: Alamy


I am the family face;
Flesh perishes, I live on,
Projecting trait and trace
Through time to times anon,
And leaping from place to place
Over oblivion. 

The years-heired feature that can
In curve and voice and eye
Despise the human span
Of durance–that is I;
The eternal thing in man,
That heeds no call to die.

Thomas Hardy 

In this poem, he reflects on the inheritance of ‘the family face’, ‘trait and trace’. My favourite word in this poem is the compound adjective ‘years-heired’.

What have you inherited? Eyes, nose, ears, colouring, little hands (I had to sneak that Trump trope in!) or big feet? It might be a laugh, freckles, walk or a certain look. Whatever it is, you recognise it in another member of your family or even a portrait of an ancestor, if you have such a thing, as long as you’re not a distant relation of Dorian Grey. How does it make you feel?

The challenge is to write a poem using the first person (I) and focusing on one body part or trait you have inherited. Form and number of stanzas is up to you, but if you can sneak one or two in, compound adjectives would be amazing.

If you are new, here’s how to join in:

  • Write a new poem in response to the challenge;
  • Enter a link directly to your poem and your name by clicking Mr Linky below;
  • There you will find links to other poets, and more will join so check back to see more poems;
  • Read and comment on other poet’s work, we all come here to have our poems read;
  • Please link back to dVerse from your site/blog;
  • Comment and participate in our discussion below, if you like.  We are a friendly bunch of poets.
  • Have fun.