by Hardy, Thomas

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

My Interpretation

Reading this poem, at first, I thought that it was a person that this had passed to. However when reading further I discovered that this poem is about the thing that doesn't die with each generation, it's hereditary, passed down from one to another. This is the thing passed on: "Flesh Perishes, I live on". "This is the eternal thing in man, that heeds no call to die", this is what you can't see that is still inside you and all your relatives. This poem reflects such things as DNA and special traits you have from your family that no one else can have. I pictured a family tree when reading this poem, a long trace of history and heredity.