Article | Culture Unbound: Journal of Current Cultural Research | On the Representation of an Early Modern Dutch Storm in Two Poems

Title:
On the Representation of an Early Modern Dutch Storm in Two Poems
Author:
Katrin Pfeifer:
DOI:
10.3384/cu.2000.1525.1572433
Read article:
Full article (pdf)
Year:
2015
Volume:
7
Theme:
Theme: Cultures of Disasters Edited by Anders Ekström and Kyrre Kverndokk
Pages:
433-354
No. of pages:
22
Publication type:
Article
Published:
2015-10-28


On 19th December 1660, a severe storm raged over the Dutch isle of Texel, causing severe damage. It proceeded to destroy parts of the city of Amsterdam. Both the sailor and merchant Gerrit Jansz Kooch and the priest Joannes Vollenhove wrote a poem about this natural disaster, presumably independently of each other. The poets perceived the storm differently: Kooch, an eyewitness of the storm, matter-of-factly portrays the calamity and details a feud between his son-in-law and a colleague to commemorate the day of the disaster. In contrast, Vollenhove personifies the winter storm and struggles to understand it. Their poems are valuable sources for a cultural historical analysis. After a brief review of historical severe storm research, I will analyse these poems from a cultural historical point of view. I will shed light on how this severe storm was represented poetically in the Early Modern Period.

Keywords: Environmental history; cultural history; the Netherlands; Early Modern Period; natural disaster; storm; perception; poetry

Volume 7, Theme: Theme: Cultures of Disasters Edited by Anders Ekström and Kyrre Kverndokk, Article 5, 2015

Author:
Katrin Pfeifer
Title:
On the Representation of an Early Modern Dutch Storm in Two Poems:
DOI:
10.3384/cu.2000.1525.1572433
References:
  • Buisman, Jan (2006): Duizend jaar weer, wind en water in de lage landen. Volume 4: 1575–1675, Franeker: Uitgeverij Van Wijnen.
  • Brázdil, Rudolf et al. (2010): ‘European climate of the past 500 years: New challenges for historical climatology’, Climatic Change, 101, 7–40. DOI: 10.1007/s10584-009-9783-z
  • Brázdil, Rudolf et al. (2005): ‘Historical climatology in Europe—The state of the art’, Climatic Change, 70, 363–430. DOI: 10.1007/s10584-005-5924-1
  • Gayà, Miquel (2011): ‘Tornadoes and severe storms in Spain’, Atmospheric Research, 100, 334–343. DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosres.2010.10.019
  • Dibbets, Geerd R.W. (2007): Johannes Vollenhove (1631–1708). Dominee—dichter. Een biografie, Hilversum: Uitgeverij Verloren.
  • Dotzek, Nikolai (2001): ‘Tornadoes in Germany’, Atmospheric Research, 51, 233–251. DOI: 10.1016/S0169-8095(00)00075-2
  • Dotzek, Nikolai et al. (2009): ‘Overview of ESSL’s severe convective storms research using the European Severe Weather Database ESWD’, Atmospheric Research, 93, 575–586. DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosres.2008.10.020
  • Dotzek, Nikolai et al. (2000): ‘Die Bedeutung von Johannes P. Letzmanns “Richtlinien zur Er-forschung von Tromben, Tornados, Wasserhosen und Kleintromben” für die heutige Tor-nadoforschung’, Meteorologische Zeitschrift, 9, 165–174.
  • Eeghen, Isabella Henriette van (1966a): ’Een oude band met gedichten van bruiloften en sterfgeval-len.’ Amstelodamum, 53, 37–41.
  • Eeghen, Isabella Henriette van (1966b): ’Een oude band met gedichten: Gerret Jansz Kooch’, Ams-telodamum, 53, 1–5.
  • Eeghen, Isabella Henriette van (1966c): ’Een oude band met gedichten: Natuurrampen’, Ams-telodamum, 53, 79–84.
  • Engelen, Aryan F. V. van, Buisman, Jan & IJnsen, Folkert (2001): ‘A millennium of weather, wind and water in the Low Countries’, Jones, P. D. et al. (eds): History and climate. Memories of the future? New York: Springer, 101–124.
  • Go, Sabine (2009): Marine insurance in the Netherlands 1600–1870. A comparative institutional approach, Amsterdam: Aksant Academic Publishers.
  • Gottschalk, Maria Karoline Elisabeth (1977): Stormvloeden en rivieroverstromingen in Nederland. Part III: De periode 1600–1700, Assen: Van Gorcum.
  • Hauer, Katrin (2009): Der plötzliche Tod. Bergstürze in Salzburg und Plurs kulturhistorisch be-trachtet. Berlin/Münster/Wien/Zürich/London: Lit Verlag, 2009
  • Hauer, Katrin & Pfeifer, Niki (2011): ‘Reporting on historical severe storms: Two examples of Utrecht (1674) and Abtenau (1796)’, Atmospheric Research, 100, 580–585. DOI: 10.1016/j.atmosres.2010.08.007
  • Jakubowski-Tiessen, Manfred (1992): Sturmflut 1717. Die Bewältigung einer Naturkatastrophe in der Frühen Neuzeit (Ancien régime. Aufklärung und Revolution 24), München: Oldenbourg. DOI: 10.1515/9783486828023
  • Knauth, Johann Conrad (1722): Alt-Zellischer Chroniken Siebendter Theil, enthaltend die Annales oder Jahr-Geschichte, was nehmlich von Anfange der Stifftung her biß auf gegenwärtige Zeit, sowol im Closter selbst, als dessen weit umfangenen Refiere und vormahligen Zugehörungen, insonderheit aber dessen dreyen incorporirten Stiffts-Städten und Flecken, Roßwein, Siebenlehn und Nossen, sich nach und nach notables zugetragen, Dresden/Leipzig: J. J. Wincklers seel.
  • Kraker, Adriaan M. J. de (2013): ‘Two floods compared: Perception of and response to the 1682 and 1716 flooding disasters in the Low Countries’, Katrin Pfeifer & Niki Pfeifer (eds): Forces of nature and cultural responses, Dordrecht: Springer, 185–202.
  • Lamb, Hubert Horace (1991): Historic storms of the North Sea, British Isles and Northwest Europe, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Lehmann, Christian (1747): Ausführliche Beschreibung des Meißnischen Ober-Erzgebürges, nach seiner Lage, Gestalt, Bergen, Thälern, Felsen, Flüssen, Brunnen, warmen Bädern, Wäldern, Landes-Art, Früchten, Wildbahne, wie auch angemerckten Zustande der Elemente, Himmels-Zeichen, Witterung und allerhand curiösen Begebenheiten gefertiget, auch mit schönen Kupffern und nöthigen Figuren gezieret von Einem Freunde des Erzgebürges, Leipzig: Friedrich Lanckischens Erben.
  • Mauch, Christof & Pfister, Christian (eds) (2009): Natural disasters, cultural responses. Case stud-ies toward a global environmental history, Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books.
  • Matulla, Christoph et al. (2008): European storminess: Late nineteenth century to present, Climatic Dynamics, 31, 125–130. DOI: 10.1007/s00382-007-0333-y
  • Pfeifer, Katrin (2014): Stürme über Europa. Eine Auswahl aus den Niederlanden und Österreich in der Frühen Neuzeit. Eine Kulturgeschichte, Berlin/Münster/Wien/Zürich/London: Lit Verlag.
  • Pfeifer, Katrin & Pfeifer, Niki (eds) (2013a): Forces of nature and cultural responses, Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Pfeifer, Katrin & Pfeifer, Niki (2013b): ‘Severe storm reports of the 17th century: Examples from the UK and France’. Proceedings of the 6th European Conference on Severe Storms, Helsinki: ESSL, European Severe Storms Laboratory, #100.
  • Pfister, Christian et al. (2010): ‘The meteorological framework and the cultural memory of three severe winter-storms in early eighteenth-century Europe’, Climatic Change, 101, 281–310. DOI: 10.1007/s10584-009-9784-y
  • Steinberg, Ted (2006): Acts of God. The unnatural history of natural disaster in America, New York: Oxford Universtiy Press (2nd edition).
  • Wagenaar, Pieter (2011): ‘Extortion and abuse of power in the Dutch Republic: The case of bailiff Lodewijk van Alteren’, International Journal of Public Administration, 34, 731–740. DOI: 10.1080/01900692.2011.598291
  • Wheeler, Dennis (2003): ‘The great storm of November 1703: A new look at the seamen’s records’, Weather, 58, 419–427. DOI: 10.1256/wea.83.03
  • Wheeler, Dennis et al. (2005): Atmospheric circulation and storminess derived from Royal Navy logbooks: 1685 to 1750, Climatic Change, 101, 257–280. DOI: 10.1007/s10584-009-9732-x
  • Winiwarter, Verena & Knoll, Martin (2007): Umweltgeschichte. Eine Einführung, Köln: UTB 2521/Böhlau.
  • Sources

  • Geysbeek, Pieter Gerardus Witsen (1827): Biographisch, anthologisch en critisch woordenboek der Nederduitsche dichters, Amsterdam: C. L. Schleijer, 36–40. Translation: Katrin Pfeifer.
  • Kooch, Gerrit Jansz: Groote sto[r]m 1660. Stadsarchief Amsterdam, Archief Familie Alberdingk Thijm, (Arch. nr. 520, Inv. nr. 120). Transcription and translation: Katrin Pfeifer.
  • Kooch, Gerrit Jansz: Hollans Orkaen. Stadsarchief Amsterdam, Archief Familie Alberdingk Thijm, (Arch. nr. 520, Inv. nr. 120). Transcription and translation: Katrin Pfeifer.
  • Volume 7, Theme:: Theme: Cultures of Disasters Edited by Anders Ekström and Kyrre Kverndokk, Article 5, 2015

    Author:
    Katrin Pfeifer
    Title:
    On the Representation of an Early Modern Dutch Storm in Two Poems:
    DOI:
    10.3384/cu.2000.1525.1572433
    Note: the following are taken directly from CrossRef
    Citations:
  • Rudolf Brázdil, Péter Szabó, Peter Stucki, Petr Dobrovolný, Ladislava Řezníčková, Oldřich Kotyza, Hubert Valášek, Marián Melo, Silvie Suchánková, Lukáš Dolá & Kateřina Chromá (2017). The extraordinary windstorm of 7 December 1868 in the Czech Lands and its central European context. International Journal of Climatology, : . DOI: 10.1002/joc.4973
  • Rudolf Brázdil, Peter Stucki, Péter Szabó, Petr Dobrovolný, Ladislava Řezníčková, Oldřich Kotyza, Hubert Valášek, Lukáš Dolák, Pavel Zahradníče & Silvie Suchánková (2017). The second most disastrous windstorm of the nineteenth century in the Czech Lands, 26-27 October 1870. Theoretical and Applied Climatology, : . DOI: 10.1007/s00704-017-2146-1
  •  

    Export in BibTex, RIS or text