Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Rime of An Ancient Mariner
A lyrical ballad
The Sun now rose upon the right:
Out of the sea came he, *Anastrophe*
Still hid in mist, and on the left
Went down into the sea
And the good south wind still blew behind,
But no sweet bird (albatross) did follow,
Nor any day for food or play
Came to the mariner's hollo! (mariners cry)
And I had done a hellish thing,
And it would work 'em woe: (and it will surely bring some sorrows to the sailors)
For all averred(affirmed), I had killed the bird
That made the breeze to blow.
Ah wretch!( base, mean, or despicable) said they, the bird to slay(To kill violently),*Anastrophe*
That made the breeze to blow!
Nor dim nor red, like God's own head, (it suggests divine retribution will come to the ship)*simile*
The glorious Sun uprist: (uprose)
Then all averred, (affirmed) I had killed the bird
That brought the fog and mist.
'Twas right, said they, such birds to slay,
That bring the fog and mist.
(The Mariner’s Companions made themselves accomplices in the crime when they thought that it was a good thing to have the Albatross killed.)
The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,*Internal rhyme*
The furrow followed free;
(Visual imagery. When the ship moves on a tideless ocean it cuts through the water that forms a furrow at the rear bottom of the ship that is created by white foam that flies when the ship cuts and sails through the water)
We were the first that ever burst *internal rhyme*
Into that silent sea.
Down dropt the breeze, the sails dropt down,*repetition*
'Twas sad as sad could be;
And we did speak only to break
The silence of the sea!
All in a hot and copper sky,*Tautology*
The bloody Sun, at noon,
(usually the sun is white during the afternoon but because of the sultry weather and as a result of the mariner’s sin it grew hot and copper red)
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the Moon. (The sun is unusually small. it’s as if the light of the world is slowly fading.)
Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship *simile*
Upon a painted ocean.
Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink; (Salt has this effect on things)
Water, water, every where, *paradox*
Nor any drop to drink. (Isn’t that crazy? Most of those shipwrecked die of thirst.. in the middle of the ocean..)
The very deep did rot: O Christ!
That ever this should be!
(Days after the wind stilled, something is awry. Slimy creatures are seen walking on the surface of the water.
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
Upon the slimy sea.
About, about, in reel and rout
( reel mean? Means to lure or capture and bring something in, like reeling in a fish after you've caught)
The death-fires (Death-fires are an omen of death) danced at night;
(Sailors at sea often saw this phenomenon, known as St. Elmo’s Fire. It is electricity discharged from pointed objects, such as masts, during storms. The phenomenon can also be seen on land on trees or towers that rise to a point)
The water, like a witch's oils, *simile* Burnt green, and blue and white.
(Disturbing lights start to appear at night, and the water "burns" green, blue, and white. If you wanted to be scientific about it, you might guess that the Mariner is seeing the phenomenon of "phosphorescence." Some kinds of algae and tiny animals can literally "glow" in the water in certain times of year. But Coleridge isn 't being scientific, he 's being supernatural. Some of the sailors start to dream that a spirit deep under the ocean has been following the ship ever since they left the Arctic. Needless to say, it 's not a happy,spirit.)
And some in dreams assurèd were
Of the Spirit that plagued us so;
( Coleridge believed that there were more spirits or invisible creatures in the world then visible ones.)
Nine fathom deep he had followed us
From the land of mist and snow.
(A fathom is a unit of length equal to six feet.)
And every tongue, through utter drought
, Was withered at the root;
We could not speak, no more than if
We had been choked with soot.
Ah! well a-day! (Archaic lamentation; Alas!)
what evil looks Had I from old and young!
(he was given dirty looks by everybody for killing the albatross.)*antithesis* Instead of the cross, the Albatross *internal rhyme*
About my neck was hung.
(Suggests the divine nature of the Albatross, and how it functions as a sort of cross in its own right. Yet hung around his neck, it is a symbol of his sins.)

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