. . . I've been told that I write novels for email messages. Perhaps this is the way to go. I'll try to make each entry, or Gemstone, a "precious" one. On mediocre days, all I might be able to produce is a "semi-precious" entry. In any case, an entry might be a "neat" Gemstone--something that is uniquely mine.

Monday, April 11, 2011

National Poetry Month 2011

April is National Poetry Month and I try to read at least one new poem each year. Yes, I know, pretty pathetic to only read one poem in a year, but this year's is a doozie!

I recently heard a synopsis on the "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1797) and thought I'd read the epic poem in its entirety. Now, I'm thinking that I read it once in high school English class many years ago, but the storyline totally slipped my mind, if it ever entered it.

I did know that the well-known verse,

"Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink."
came from this poem, but that's about it. So much for retention. But I didn't know that the poem's story is centered on a man who feels total guilt for a wrong that he committed. His guilt consumed his soul.Besides guilt as a central theme, there is a lot of symbolism written within the poem.

The synopsis of the poem that I heard concluded with the fact that we all have things to be guilty for, maybe some wrong committed toward another person, but nobody is perfect. It is up to you to make amends, to forgive yourself, and to move on.

I like the ending of the poem where Coleridge writes,

"Farewell, farewell! but this I tell
To thee, thou Wedding-Guest!
He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.

He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all."
Note: photo at the top is the Statue of the Ancient Mariner by Scottish sculptor Alan Herriot. It was unveiled in 2003 on the waterfront in Watchet, Somerset, UK.

The plaque on the statue reads,
"Ah ! well a-day ! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.


Neat Rox said...

My mom can't seem to leave comments. Here is one she sent me via email:

I "had" to read this poem "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" as a Jr. in HS.
Hated it then. Maybe I should reread it? I still remember the teacher
after asking "What is the moral of this story"?, getting answers such as
"Never kill an albatross." I can still see her with her fingers grasping her
hair, pulling and almost shrieking, "No, No, No. It is, 'Be good, Love God,
and go to Church.' "

Quite an impression she made. :-)

Love Mom

Neat Rox said...

I sure don't know where she got that moral from the poem. I guess it worked for her!