lizbrownlee – poet

Poems, animal info, extraordinary women, my books!

A is for Mary Anning, Fossil Hunter, #AtoZ Challenge

Welcome to the Extraordinary Women A-Z challenge 2017!

I am taking part this year with two guest bloggers, the co-authors (Jan Dean and Michaela Morgan) of my new book, Reaching the Stars, Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls.

This first blog of the month is by Jan Dean:

Her blog is about Mary Anning.

 Credited to Mr Grey in Crispin Tickell’s Book, Mary Anning of Lyme Regis, 1996

Sedgwick Museum

.

Mary Anning, 1799  – 1847, was born into a poor family and had no training as a scientist. She lived in Lyme Regis on England’s Jurassic Coast and made a living as a fossil hunter.  

Her extraordinary finds in the landslips on the beach made her world famous.

She was entirely self-taught but her discovery of the plesiosaur and other prehistoric creatures changed the way we see the world. In 2010 the Royal Society included her in the list of the ten women who have most influenced science. 

.

Remembering Mary

.

All night the sea has battered at the shore

and rain has run in torrents

‘til the cliff has fallen, tumbled

in a dark and muddy heap.

.

Now the beach is rich with fossils

-sea lilies, feather stars, snakestones-

and fossil-hunters comb the sand,

walk with their eyes fixed downward,

scan the ground for creatures

dead a million years or more.

.

They are following

in Mary Anning’s footsteps

who found the great fish-lizard

we call Plesiosaur.

.

The sea’s mysterious,

iron grey and shunting shingle,

growling with the roll

of pebbles pounding in the tide.

.

This is the same sound Mary heard

when she stood here

discovering dinosaurs.

The same roar

when Mary Anning’s fossils

shook the world.

.

© Jan Dean

If you’d like to read about more extraordinary women, why not buy the book Reaching the Stars, Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls, by me, Jan Dean and Michaela Morgan – link below, press on book!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Facts:

BBC

Wikipedia

46 Comments

  1. fabulous poem!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Angela, and isn’t it just! Sets the standard… *quakes*

      Like

  2. Great stuff. I have a poem about her too. 🙂

    Like

    • Thanks, Abigail! Have you done posts about extraordinary women?

      Like

  3. Great start, Liz!

    Like

    • Thanks, John! I’ve only posted it on the A-Z so far, I got a bit muddled about where else to do it! I’ll let Jan, my guest blogger today, know!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I never heard of this lady and wish I had. She should have been inducted a long time before 2010. Love the poem!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope you’ll enjoy this series, Birgit, I’ve tried to choose people that aren’t well known, although there’s a few that are with more interesting details about them. Jan is a terrific poet!

      Like

  5. Nice poem, and she sounds like an amazing woman! Since I was rather young, my dream career has been paleontology.

    Like

    • Thank you, Carrie-Anne! You are never too old to change career! I only became a poet when I was 42.

      Like

  6. Anonymous

    I loved the poem and I love your theme, Liz. I think I’m going to learn a great deal this month in a very enjoyable way!

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Amazing Poem
    well written. Thanks for sharing Amazing Guide to your First Menstrual Period

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello! Thank you. Your website sounds as if it is aimed at young people. That’s who I usually write for – this post though was by my co-author, Jan.

      Like

  8. I loved the poem, and I love your theme, Liz. I think I’m going to learn a lot from your blog this month!

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great to hear about Mary’s contribution and amazing to think that beach isn’t too far from where I grew up but I’ve never heard of her. Liked the poem too!

    Like

    • Thank you, Nick – where did you grow up? I grew up in Bridport, Dorchester etc, and didn’t know either!

      Like

  10. Great theme! I love getting kids excited about science, history, and literature, and you’ve got all three here today.
    A-Z Printmakers: Abbe

    Like

    • Thank you, Anne! My usual theme is animals, which incorporates poetry, science and biology!

      Like

  11. Thea O'Brian

    I really enjoyed your first bolg posting. Thanks for sharing this with all of us.
    http://enchantedfantasies.blogspot.com/

    Like

  12. Lovely approach to Mary Anning – a superstar of geology 🙂
    Have a great April, you guys.

    Jemima Pett with a guest Astronaut today!

    Like

  13. Tina Basu

    Lovely poem, great start to a to z

    Like

  14. I love your theme and this post! Will definitely follow you through the entire alphabet!

    Like

  15. Mary sounds a remarkable woman – I bet you can’t make a living collecting fossils now! Grand poem, Liz – I like the thought of listening to the same sounds now and then.

    Like

    • Doesn’t she just, Liz! It’s not my poem, It’s by my co-author of the new book, Jan Dean, who is indeed a grand poet!

      Like

  16. Congrats on the book!
    Many amazing women out there – glad you are giving us a snapshot of some of them over the month.
    Cheers.

    Join @moondustwriter for A Piece of Uganda

    Like

  17. fossil-hunters comb the land; fascinating woman: Mary.

    Like

    • She certainly is. As I researched the book I found many, many women who did what men have been lauded for way later, before they even thought of it.

      Like

  18. Great theme! I look forward to reading more!

    Maggie C
    What Rhymes with Stanza

    Like

    • Thanks, Maggie! After breakfast, I’ll be visiting everyone who has visited me…

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Great open. I love your theme for the month.
    Pat
    http://www.missivesfrommissouriblogspot.com

    Like

  20. Love this theme and the poem! Awesome way to get to know some extraordinary women! Looking forward to more!

    Like

    • Thanks, Tawnya, Jan will be pleased to know you like the poem!

      Like

    • Tawnya, I couldn’t find a link to your blog, do you have one?

      Like

  21. hilarymb

    Hi Liz and friends .. Mary Anning was an amazing woman – thankfully finally recognised by the Royal Society in 2010 … it’s been so interesting learning more about her … cheers HIlary

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/a-is-for-aurochs.html

    Today’s A – Z Challenge 2017 post

    Like

  22. romancerighter

    I’m visiting from the A-Z challenge and this month I am writing about personality quirks for developing characters in novels. Please visit A-ZPersonalityQuirksforWriters

    As to why I am here: I am working on a middle grade bio series of intrepid women (using another of my pseudonyms) and Mary Anning is one of them! I expect to learn of other interesting women here this month. Thanks for the series. Great theme! I’ll be back periodically. You’re on my blog roll!

    Like

    • Hello romance righter – i can’t find your blog and your link does not work – can you just put the address please? Thank you!

      Like

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