Posted in Poetry News

International Women’s History Day

This month it’s International Women’s History Day on the 8th, and to celebrate, Jan, Michaela and I are taking turns to post a poem about extraordinary women. Here’s one from me – it’s about Amelia Bloomer. She was a suffragette, women’s right’s advocate, journalist and fashion reformer.

Women’s clothes in the 1800s consisted of tight corsets (which restricted breathing), and many layers of woollen petticoats and skirts, which trailed on the ground. As you can imagine, these were heavy, uncomfortable and made doing anything energetic very difficult indeed. It restricted women to doing only those things that men considered women should be doing.

Amelia had other ideas about women’s clothing. She designed loose tops, over short skirts and loose cotton trousers, which became known as bloomers.

Amelia Bloomer

(who campaigned for votes)

didn’t like corsets

or petticoats.

What did she advocate?

I think you can guess –

bloomers! Blooming marvellous

freedom of dress.

and women all over

said ‘what’s not to like?

We can’t ride in long skirts

on new-fangled bikes,

we can’t walk very far,

breathe deeply or sing,

blooming marvellous bloomers

are wonderful things,

if you want to bloom

and work for your wealth,

stand up for your health,

stand up for yourself.

How will you do this?

I think you can guess.

Wear bloomers! Blooming marvellous

freedom of dress.


Award-Wining Children's Poet, Author, Wildlife and Climate enthusiast, NPD Ambassador, blogger and owner of Lola the retired alert dog and Paddy the alert dog in training. Books include CLiPPA shortlisted Being Me, Poems about Thoughts, Worries and Feelings, Editor of Shaping the World, Author of Be the Change, Apes to Zebras, The Same Inside, Reaching the Stars and Animal Magic. I visit schools, libraries, literary festivals via Zoom and give lessons on writing poetry for children. @Lizpoet

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