Frozen Mammoths - by John Stuart Blackie This excerpt from "A Song of Geology" is an evocative tale of finding frozen mammoth remains in icy Siberia. This verse reflects the mid-1800s push to find frozen mammoths and study them. Guest artwork by Ida Kalsta
The Giant Birds of Old - by Anon. This poem by an anonymous tutor was written about the same fossil trackways featured in "The Sandstone Bird" by Edward Hitchcock, but with a much lighter tone. Guest artwork by Erin Bethell
The Megatherium - by Joseph Victor von Scheffel, translated by Charles G. Leland This moralizing poem is about the dangers of acting like a giant ground sloth. Don't be slow or lazy and you won't go extinct. Guest artwork by Zélie.
Untitled - by George Mercer Dawson Another Victorian poem full of drama and melancholy! This poem from a famous early Canadian geologist is about fossil shells and ancient oceans. Guest artwork by Dr. Hillary Maddin
Observation to a Whail - by Julia Pepper In the mid-1800s, a beluga skeleton was dug up, near Charlotte, Vermont. This was a source of wonder for the locals, and quickly became an attraction at the State House. Julia Pepper wrote this poem in honour of the whale. Guest artwork by John Meszaros.
Die Lust und Leid aus Alter Zeit - by Joseph Victor von Scheffel This German geologist drinking song features many of the most famous fossils of the 1800s, all engaged in indulgent and apparently deplorable behaviour. None survive until the end of the poem. Guest artwork by Katrin Emery.
The Petrified Fern - by Mary Bolles Branch This Palaeo-Botany poem is about how context may change the meaning of fossils. This poem also fits into the capitalist and colonial mentality that everything and everyone must be useful in some way, and that finding that use is a noble cause. Guest artwork by Fatema.
Ode to a Trilobite - by Timothy Abbott Conrad Timothy Conrad was known for both scientific mind and "melancholic" demeanor. Today, we might have said he had depression. Timothy poured himself into science and literature, and this poem is a product of his love for both. Guest artwork by John Meszaros.
Oldhamia antiqua - by John Joly This poem is about a type of trace fossil from the Cambrian, and dramatically muses on how fossils must feel about deep time. Guest artwork by Brigid Christison.
Untitled - by Thomas Chesmer Weston This was the first poem ever found for Palaeopoems. Published in Thomas' 1899 memoirs, it's about one of the earliest fossil-hunting expeditions to western Canada and reflects Victorian ideas about dinosaurs. Guest artwork by Katrin Emery.