By J. C. C. Mays (auth.)

This is the 1st book-length research to learn the "Ancient Mariner" as "poetry," in Coleridge's personal specific experience of the observe. Coleridge's advanced courting with the "Mariner" as an experimental poem lies in its starting place as a joint undertaking with Wordsworth. J. C. C. Mays strains the adjustments within the numerous types released in Coleridge's lifetime and exhibits how Wordsworth's bothered response to the poem motivated its next interpretation. this can be additionally the 1st publication to situate the "Mariner" within the context of the whole lot of Coleridge's prose and verse, now to be had within the Bollingen accumulated variation and Notebooks; that's, not just relating to different poems like "The Ballad of the darkish Ladiè" and "Alice du Clós," but additionally to rules in his literary feedback (especially Biographia Literaria), philosophy, and theology. utilizing a mixture of shut analyzing and large ancient issues, reception conception, and ebook heritage, Mays surveys the poem's carrying on with lifestyles in illustrated variants and academic textbooks; its passage during the vicissitudes of latest feedback and important thought; and, in a last bankruptcy, its remarkable affinities with a few experimental poems of the current time.

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27 Coleridge succumbed to the easy internal rhyme, and it might have encouraged him to think he had finished with the story Wordsworth had given him when the albatross fell off—which he had not. There is no reason to believe he thought of the killing of the bird in the same way as Wordsworth did, as specially symbolic of a crime against nature, nor of the bird as later generations have (following Baudelaire’s “L’Albatros”) as somehow symbolic of poetic imagination. In a similar way, it has proved easy to be distracted by the ethereal tone of the voices in the air.

Take the following examples: Coleridge restricts the grammatical structure within the boundary of 147 individual stanzas out of a total of 151, and the two places where he breaks the rule are significant. The first occurs in the dialogue between the Two Voices at the beginning of Part VI (between lines 422 and 423), where the Second Voice points to the relation between the ocean and the moon before he goes on to explain it. And one should add that immediately following (at lines 427–30), the brothervoices split a single stanza between them.

Everything that came into it—the memories of voyages documented by Lowes, the echoes of recondite sources recorded by Beer—came this way. Being composed in the head, the poem led the poet as often as vice versa, leaving him to steer it as best he could. Its jostling progression is like Rimbaud’s “Bateau ivre” (drunken boat poem), a disturbed advance towards a destination that is less important than the journey. 6 PICTURES The “Ancient Mariner” has always attracted illustrators because it tells its story in a series of pictures.

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Coleridge's Ancient Mariner by J. C. C. Mays (auth.)
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