lizbrownlee – poet

Poems, animal info, extraordinary women, my books!

X is for X Ray – Marie Curie, #AtoZ Challenge

By Nobel foundation [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


This entry is taken from my book, Reaching for the Stars, Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls, written with Jan Dean and Michaela Morgan, published by Macmillan.


Marie Curie was born Marie Sklodowska in 1867in Poland. She went to Sorbonne University, Paris, when she moved in with her sister.

She was fascinated by physics, and when she met her husband, Pierre Curie, she began working with him looking into the invisible rays given off by the newly discovered uranium.

Marie realised there was something even more radioactive then uranium in the mineral samples she was studying.

She went on to discover polonium and radium, which led eventually with a treatment to kill cancer cells – but inadvertently caused cancer in herself while working consistently with the radioactive substances.


Marie Curie-ous


If something was radioactive,

would you want to find out why?


Scientists like Marie Curie

are curious, they have to try.


“There’s nothing in life to be feared,

just understood,” she said.


But she didn’t realise the danger

would mean ill-health ahead.


She spent long hours toiling

with hands inflamed and raw,


found polonium, and radium,

both unknown before,


which helped begin the search

for the world’s most wanted answer –


a radioactive treatment

to help with a cure for cancer.


© Liz Brownlee


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!



Reaching the Stars, Poems about Extraordinary Women and Girls.


  1. Another X-cellent poem about an X-traordinary woman!


    • I say, Lizy, how Xtremely and xessively kind of you!


  2. Neat solution! She was luckier in her husband than Mrs Einstein was 🙂


  3. Love the poem and perfect for the letter X.


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