I have always been fascinated by what did, or didn't happen between the dinosaurs' time and ours. To be honest, the scale of loss terrifies me. The poem probably comes, ultimately, from that place, although of course I don't want to scare anyone, least of all our readers! The poem itself is light-hearted, though you can see parallels with today's warnings about mass extinction. Meanwhile, there is something wonderful about the fact that you and I are descended from what thrived next. Human-centric as it is, I wanted to communicate that.)
It was the story of the discovery of the Podokesaurus that fascinated me, particularly because the museum housing the original specimen burned down. All those years since the first day of its life, all that time in the ground; uncovered by chance, and then destroyed by accident. I wanted to keep going back from that ending to think about what came before, and before that, and before that, right back to the start.
For me it's both incredible and humbling to think that dinosaurs probably once roamed the very ground we tread on now. I wrote the poem to conjure up that sense of wonder.
|An illustration of diplodocus from the book|
I was inspired by when 'Dippy' disappeared from the entrance hall of the Natural History Museum and went on to tour the country.
There is lots of writing about dinosaurs, so my poem was inspired by what we don't know because nobody has ever seen a living dinosaur. I thought about all the senses and realised that we can only guess at what they smelt like, or sounded like. Hence I wrote 'What did dinosaurs smell like?' Well actually I wrote about what they don't smell of! I leave you to write about sound.
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