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Heredity

You don’t see old family photo albums so much these days, with most photos living online. As a child I used to love poring over them. I come from a big clan and am always struck by the uncanny resemblances ghosting down the generations. ‘Is that great Aunt Gwen or my daughter Memphis?!’ Hardy describes this perfectly. – Paul Kelly

HEREDITY
Thomas Hardy

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

Artwork: Dan Kyle. In between the storms (detail), 2022. Oil and mixed media on canvas, 170 x 120cm