Saturday, September 21, 2013

Photo Chart of Olga's Ancestors

A single click on this picture will enlarge it; otherwise it is pretty difficult to see.

That's my Mom on the left. It used to be the fashion, among Mormon genealogists, to create an 8 1/2 by 14 inch looseleaf book to keep track of the ancestors. Printed sheets were available to fill in with the names and dates. The slots were numbered and when you ran out of space, you took the last persons and started a numbered sheet for each of them. And so on. Our book was about three inches thick and also contained typescripts of pioneer reminiscences. Mom took the book apart later on for other projects, As you can guess, even from this chart, she usually kept working on things until neatness was lost.

This is a scan of a photocopy (I have no idea where the original is) of a picture chart that Mom made for our book. As you can see, there is only room for a few generations back on a page; in this case it correlates well with the birth of photography. The outline on the right was taken from a silhouette. And the guy under the silhouette is a photo of a statue! For some of these people, there is no extant likeness, or only this one. I would love to see copies of similar charts from other families, if you know of them. If you would be willing to share one with me, send me a message. I know at least one story about most of the people on this chart (just ask me!) and a photo or likeness is a really nice hook to hang one's information on.

There are no direct descendants of Edvard Grieg (although there are pictures in Wikipedia) since his only child died very young of meningitis. This poem is for anyone who loves his music! Or who loves poems that are funny and serious at the same time. From a poet who has been one of my top favorites for 30 years. They finally got around to giving Transtromer the Nobel Prize for Poetry in 2011!


I, Edvard Grieg, moved free among men.
I joked a lot, read the papers, often on tour.
I conducted the orchestra.
The auditorium and its lights shuddered with each triumph
                            like a train ferry pushing in to dock.

I have holed myself up here to butt heads with silence.
My work hut is small.
The grand piano fits as rubbing-tight in here as a swallow
                             under a roof shingle.

The steep and lovely mountain slopes are silent most of the time.
There is no path
but there is a wicket that sometimes opens
and a peculiar light leaks in directly from the trolls.


And hammer blows in the mountain came
came one spring night into our room
disguised as heartbeats.

The year before I die I shall send out four hymns
                              to track down God.
But it begins here.
A song about that which is near.

That which is near.

Battlegrounds within us
where we Bones of the Dead
fight to come alive.

Tomas Transtromer, translated from the Swedish by May Swenson with Leif Sjoberg  in Windows and Stones; Selected Poems, pages 29-30.

Try writing a poem in the voice of a musician. Since you will have to translate that into words, you will get a different kind of poem than if you wrote about a writer. Or you could write about Rebecca Thorne at the top right in the lovely frilly cap. The Bones of the dead will appreciate it.

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