Sunday, April 18, 2010

A News Sonnet A Day for April 2010: 18

I've set myself a goal for National Poetry Month this year: Compose a sonnet based on a science-themed news story each day.

Today's installment takes its cue from "Understanding the split personality of Iceland's volcanoes" by John Timmer at Ars Technica; and "Researchers puzzle over how long Iceland volcano will erupt" by Pete Spotts at the Christian Science Monitor.

Note: "When Volcanoes Erupt: A Survival Guide for Stranded Travelers" (Facebook) includes links to travel resources, such as Roadsharing and the Spy app for rides and lodging (Twitter). Safe journeys, all.


Subduction zones are oftentimes to blame
For making a volcano build and blow.
But Iceland's processes are not the same
With mid-Atlantic ridge in place below.

First, mixed with its basalt is rhyolite,
Whose substances are far more volatile.
Then, ice and water add explosive might.
The skies above last had their ashen fill

In eighteen-twenty-one to twenty-three.
Enormous Katla had erupted, too,
And is today at risk of setting free
Much greater ash and chaos if it blew.

The race is underway to understand
The dust that forces travel overland.

Elissa Malcohn's Deviations and Other Journeys
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