My poem was inspired by Walking With Dinosaurs Episode 4, 'Giant of the Skies', which featured an Ornithocheirus at the end of his life. I watched Walking With Dinosaurs a lot with my son when he was younger, and the tragic line "the Ornithocheirus has lost his majesty" always made us cry. My son also requested an Ornithocheirus cake for his 5th birthday party.
When I decided to write a poem about dinosaurs, I thought about looking at stuff in museums with my parents and my grandparents, and then I thought about life going on and on through the generations. Animals who die are remembered by the rocks where their bones are buried, or by other living things who find evidence of them and wonder what they were like.
For the past four years, my favourite dinosaur has been the T. rex – specifically Tristan Otto, whose skeleton is on display at the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin. At the end of 2015, the museum produced a wonderful bilingual book to accompany the exhibition, which followed the journey of the bones from living dinosaur to museum exhibit, and I was on the team that produced the English translation. I have felt connected to Tristan Otto's story ever since, and my poem '66 million years' is about him.
My poem 'The Bone Wars' is a series of Clerihews. These were invented by Edmund Clerihew Bentley and are slightly silly four-line poems about someone. My poem is about two fossil hunters and how silly they were, so I thought it was a good form to choose. This website tells you more about them and this one shows you how to have a go yourself. July 10th is National Clerihew Day.
My poem 'Tiny' was inspired by two things: firstly, a fossil of Junornis huoi. In photos of the fossil you can see the long tail feathers of this Early Cretaceous bird, and can really imagine it running. Secondly, my poem was inspired by my fairy goddaughters, Hester and Niamh (aged 10). Hester has adored dinosaurs for as long as she can remember, and Niamh (who prefers cats) is very good at running.
I have always loved the idea of a jigsaurus dinosaur. I imagine it to be stegosaurus-shaped, with skin that is heavily mottled, giving the impression of jigsaw pieces. Brontosaurus-shape would work too, but NOT tyrannosaurus. A jigsaurus couldn't be ferocious, could it? It would have to be one of the placid ones!
My poem, 'Pthe Pteranodon', celebrates the use of the silent P (as in bath).
The thought of a just hatched and vulnerable lizard and the massive beast it would grow up to be.
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