Monday, 5 January 2009


I had a dream, which was not all a dream.
The bright sun was extinguish'd
and the stars did wander...

It is an excerpt of 'Darkness' by Byron, it's an awesome poem & what is most interesting is why it was written.

In 1815, Tambora exploded, it was a mountain in Indonesia, the explosion was 150 times the size of Mount St Helens, approximately 60,000 Hiroshima sized Atom Bombs!! (The initial devastation & resulting tsunamis killed over a hundred thousand people)

Over 240 kilometres of smoky ash, dust & grit were blown into the atmosphere, obscuring the sun's rays & causing the earth to cool.. It was an eternal winter. The artist Turner painted a famous sunset showing the effect this had, unusually colourful sunsets but blurry also.

It was an extraordinary event. Bad enough was that at that time Europe & North America had endured a Little Ice Age (for 200 years), so it wasn't a very warm time. Because of the explosion, the earth's thermostat fell by 1 degree Celsius..

One degree caused hundreds of thousands to die following the cataclysmic event.

& yet, a poem was written that depicted the solemnity of the event..

I don't know where I am going with this one, I just though I would mention it as it is amazing that you never hear of it..

So I am going to bow my head & give the people who died a minute's silence..


  1. Was that the volcano on Sumatra? I saw a documentary-drama about it on tv last week. Very impressive.

  2. It was on the island of Sumbawa, I think that one was Krakatoa, though I could be wrong x