SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE (1772-1834) (NATURE (NOT a source of consolation,…
SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE (1772-1834)
the main creative power
= faculty that everybody has; a fusion of perception and human individual power to produce images, to give order to chaos
= faculty that the poet has; the ability to rearrange elements in order to create a new world
imagination is superior to fancy (fancy is responsible for the passive accumulation of data in memory)
suspension of disbelief
: if a writer could infuse a "human interest and a semblance of truth" into a fantastic tale, the reader would suspend judgement concerning the implausibility of the narrative (1817)
THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER
the story of one man's sin or transgression and his slow path back to redemption
625-line poem in
the poem starts with the "argument" (a short summary of the poem)
the stanzas are sided by "captions" (notes that explain what happens)
An Ancient Mariner, unnaturally old and skinny, with a "glittering eye", stops a Wedding Guest on his way to a wedding reception.
The Ancient Mariner tells his tale, mostly uninterrupted save for the sounds from the wedding reception
One day when the Ancient Mariner set sail with two hundred other sailors towards the South Pole. The day was sunny and clear until the ship reached the equator.
Suddenly, a terrible storm hit and drove the ship into a strange, icy patch of ocean, bewildering and impenetrable.
An Albatross appeared out of the mist; the sailors fed it and the ice broke, so they were able to steer through.
As long as the Albatross flew alongside the ship and the sailors treated it kindly, a good wind carried them. One day, however, the Ancient Mariner shot and killed the Albatross on impulse.
written in a form that reminds us of
it tells a story in verse
stanzas = mostly quatrains with alternating iambic tetrameters and trimeters
ABCB rhyme scheme
contains supernatural elements
such as internal rhymes, onomatopoeias, repetitions
NOT a source of consolation
becomes a charcter itself in the RIME in the way it interacts with the mariner
neo-platonically seen as a projection of the "real" world of ideas
explored in both its benign and malignant aspects
NOT identified with the divine