In my remembered country: what poetry tells us about the changing perceptions of volcanoes between the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries

Soldati, Arianna; Illingworth, Sam

In this study we investigate what poetry written about volcanoes from the 1800s to the present day reveals about the relationship between volcanoes and the societies and times represented by poets who wrote about them, including how it evolved over that time frame. In order to address this research question, we conducted a qualitative content analysis of a selection of 34 English-language poems written about human–volcano interactions. Firstly, we identified the overall connotation of each poem. Then, we recognised specific emerging themes and grouped them in categories. Additionally, we performed a quantitative analysis of the frequency with which each category occurs throughout the decades of the dataset. This analysis reveals that a spiritual element is often present in poetry about volcanoes, transcending both the creative and destructive power that they exert. Furthermore, the human–volcano relationship is especially centred around the sense of identity that volcanoes provide to humans, which may follow from both positive and negative events. These results highlight the suitability of poetry as a means to explore the human perception of geologic phenomena. Additionally, our findings may be relevant to the definition of culturally appropriate communication strategies with communities living near active volcanoes.

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Soldati, Arianna / Illingworth, Sam: In my remembered country: what poetry tells us about the changing perceptions of volcanoes between the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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Rechteinhaber: Arianna Soldati

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