Allison Thorpe

                                                              For Marie Tharp

Only a war
opened entry

into geology—
that canon of men

fingers pestering magma
theorizing sand and silt—

but denied access
to field work

ship decks harboring
no pace of a woman

confined to an office
arranging data

while others dove
quested freely

you composed ocean's floor
without touching

water's veiled elixir
a map of song:

choral sea body
the hymning spine

Marie Tharp:   American cartographer who, in partnership with Bruce Heezen, created the first detailed topography map of the ocean floor.

Author's Note: I was fascinated when I read about Marie Tharp. A geologist and oceanographic catographer, she co-created (with Bruce Heezen) a map of the ocean floor, which led to such theories as continental drift and plate tectonics.  As a woman during this time period, she was not allowed to work in the field or be on a ship.  Confined to an office, she developed the map from research done by Heezen and others, and at the time received little credit for her work.

Allison Thorpe pic.jpg

Allison Thorpe's latest chapbook is Dorothy's Glasses (Finishing Line Press). The recipient of several grants from The Kentucky Foundation for Women, she has recent work appearing or forthcoming in So To Speak, Pembroke Magazine, Hamilton Stone Review, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Split Rock Review, and anthologies from Grayson Books and Main Street Rag.