A is for Mary Anning, Fossil Hunter, #AtoZ Challenge
Welcome to the Extraordinary Women A-Z challenge 2017!
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
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.
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
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!
- Posted in: A-Z Challenge 2017 ♦ Extraordinary Women ♦ Liz Brownlee ♦ Reaching the Stars ♦ Reaching the Stars Poems
- Tagged: AtoZ Challenge, Dorset, Extraordinary Women, Fossils, Jan Dean, Jurassic Coast, Liz Brownlee, Mary Anning, Michaela Morgan, Poems about extraordinary women and girls, Reaching the Stars, science