How a ship having passed the Line, was driven by storms to the cold Country towards the South Pole; and how from thence she made her course to the tropical Latitude of the Great Pacific Ocean; and of the strange things that befell: and in what manner the Ancyent Mariner came back to his own Country. (1798)
In which the Mariner sees the kirk again
"I think the Mariner in the telling is really telling about a life altering experience, one that questions the role of external forces in how we choose to live our lives. "--YiLiLin
"A poem is really a collaboration between two people. The author and the reader. That is why we have a number of interpretations. The poet has had his say and now we interpret it through our own experiences." ---Annafair
"It looks like we might as well agree to disagree on the meaning or interpretation of The Rime. And anyone having a problem with it, should keep in mind that Coleridge himself kept monkeying with it for the next twenty years...changing, emending, adding the Gloss, to meet criticism, or reflect a change in his own thinking...etc, etc. The resulting masterpiece has something for everyone. How you think about it, will depend on whether you are a christian, a psychologist, a marxist, a psychoanalyst, a magician, a storyteller, or...a poet! " ---Jonathan
"They have become a community of minds, sharing their own perspectives, insights and surprises. These posters have challenged and broadened one anothers thinking as they have probed into the character of the Ancient Mariner. " ----ALF (Andrea)
Previous Questions Still Open for Discussion, Parts I and II:
Previous Questions Still Open for Discussion, Parts III, IV, and V:
The Albatross's blood."
1. Why hasn't the curse died away?
2. Why can't the Mariner pray again?
3. Why do the men die again?
4. Why does the Mariner think the Hermit can shrive him?
Are you underway already? Well, shiver me timbers and pieces of eight!! Or is that the wrong book?
Most of you have heard of the recent research "proving" what we already knew and that is -- use of the brain leads to greater physical and mental health and longer life. The way we're going here on SN, those of us who regularly communicate with each other and with items of interest "out there" are in for a long stimulating life!
...storms, turbulent seas, torrents, vast caverns, deep, dark woods, fearsome deserts, blasted heaths moved readers emotionally. The sublime is associated with dimensions of greatness and founded on awe and terror.
The chief importance of the picturesque and the sublime: taught people not only to see with their eyes, but also to feel through them. The profound experience of external nature that is basic to romantic poetry (sensory impressions culminating in profound emotional experiences, almost mystical illuminations) was prepared for in this fashion.
The appeal of the distant
- Cult of the "Noble Savage": man exists in a state of harmony with nature, uncorrupted by the progressive sophistication of civilization
- Exoticism: growing interest in far-off regions and peoples, as a result of growing disillusionment with contemporary civilization
SHIFTS IN CRITICAL THEORY
From strict observance of the "rules" (correctness, decorum) to individual freedom of:
- expression (enthusiasm, genius).
- From imitation to originality (creativeness).
- From reason to taste as the basis of judgment.
- From the general to the particular in analysis and judgment.
- From abstract interpretation to psychological analysis.
- Under the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie.
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.
This be the verse you grave for me;
"Here he lies where he longed to be,
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill."
"It seems to me that with this epitaph, Chaucer has his cake and eats it too. He reminds the reader of his Fame while seeking forgiveness for it."
I think you're referring to scurvy (not beri-beri) which I believe one finds in Africa.
As to what I'm bringing to this discussion -- only two things:--
1 - The poem itself.
2 - My life's experiences. I refuse to be influenced by the critiques of others. I intend to examine the stanzas along with the rest of you and compare them to some of my own experiences and feelings that I have had as I've sailed the voyage of life.
1 - Throw
2 - Row
3 - Go
In that order!!!
- January 21, 1793
- Louis XVI executed
- February 1, 1793
- France declares war on England, Holland
- June 1793
- Reign of Terror begins
- July 13, 1793
- Jean Paul Marat assassinated by Charlotte Corday
- October 16, 1793
- Marie Antionette executed
- Eli Whitney applies for patent on cotton gin;
- second partition of Poland
- December 2, 1793
- STC enlists in 15th Light Dragoons as Silas Tomkyn Comberbache
- April 10, 1794
- STC discharged, returns to Cambridge
- June 1794
- STC first meets Southey, plan pantisocracy scheme (essentially, a kibbutz)
- ``pantisocracy'' -- a scheme involving a projected, but never realized, utopian settlement on the Susquehanna River in America
- July 28, 1794
- Robespierre executed
- STC's first poems in Morning Chronicle;
- Blake Songs of Experience;
- Paine Age of Reason
- September 1794
- STC & Southey publish drama The Fall of Robespierre
- December 1794
- STC leaves Cambridge without degree,
- tours Wales,
- begins Religious Musings
The first suggestion to Coleridge appears to have come from a strange dream related to him by a friend, in which appeared a skeleton ship with figures in it. "Much the greatest part of the story," says Wordsworth, "was Mr. Coleridge's invention, but certain parts I suggested; for example, some crime was to be committed which should bring upon the Old Navigator, as Coleridge afterwards delighted to call him, the spectral persecution, as a consequence of that crime, and his own wanderings. I had been reading in Shelvocke's Voyages a day or two before that, while doubling Cape Horn, they frequently saw albatrosses in that latitude, the largest sort of sea-fowl, some extended their wings twelve of thirteen feet. 'Suppose, ' said I, 'you represent him as having killed one of these birds on entering the South Sea, and that the tutelary spirits of these regions take upon them to avenge the crime.'
The incident was thought fit for the purpose and adopted accordingly. I also suggested the navigation of the ship by the dead men, but do not recollect that I had anything more to do with the scheme of the poem. The gloss with which it was subsequently accompanied, was not thought of by either of us at the time, at least not a hint of it was given to me, and I have no doubt it was a gratuitous afterthought. We began the composition together on that, to me, memorable evening. I furnished two or three lines at the beginning of the poem-- in particular:
"And listened like a three years' child:
The mariner had his will.'
These trifling contributions, all but one, which Mr. C. has with unnecessary scrupulosity recorded slipped out of his mind, as well they might. As we endeavored to proceed conjointly (I speak of the same evening), our respective manners proved so widely different, that it would have been quite presumptuous I me to do anything but separate from an undertaking upon which I could only have been a clog."
I also read an interesting paper about the literary academia having had such concern about all the literary information and downloading of the Classics on the internet. They have a fear that out of their control the "Cannon" of literature that they have associated over time to certain periods and type may be altered by those of us that do not have their background and education. Hmmmmm If nothing else is helped me understand better when the word "Cannon" was being used in respect to literature.
By doing so, as well as through an author's own critical remarks in the Biographia Literaria and elsewhere, he in effect collaborated with readers, critics, and parodists in determining the form in which it would be handed on to the canon and literary history.
- 1A brief expanatory note or translation of a difficult or technical expression usually inserted in the margin or between lines of a text of manuscript.
- 2 A purposefully misleading interpretation of explanation
- 3An extensive commentary, often accompanying a test or publication) as if in the hand of some later (but still "antique") hermeneut.
The gloss, itself a parody of academic or monkish interpretation, has proven to be a continuous source of hermeneutic (hermeneutic means the science and methodology of interpretation, explanation) questions about the poem and about hermeneutics in general. It is by now a critical commonplace that the gloss offers a kind of enfolded dialectical or ironic perspective on the main text of the ballad, though critical disagreement persists as to how to read the precise tone of the marginal text. For my purposes, it is enough to acknowledge that there are places in the text where the gloss opens up an ironic counter-voice on the main action of the ballad, in effect anticipating the poem's inevitable parodies. This may be discerned ... it is a clearer possibility in stanzas 9-10:
Truly said, Fairwinds. I wish I had the time now to read so much of what I read in my school and earlier years and to understand so much more. Remember George Bernard Shaw? "Youth is a wonderful thing; it's a shame it's wasted on the young."
Looking forward to seeing you in "Democracy in America."
You're so right! A ship has to have a name and the "Coleridge" sounds appropriate.
Incidentally, what are we eating while on board? And is there a ship's carpenter for taking care of repairs? How about a ship's doctor? Does anyone get the feeling we are not that prepared to weigh anchor?
And of course you all know the answer to the question: "How do you get down off an elephant?"
"What is the difference between a duck?"
Yoeman Will have some of that Rum, yee have had enough. Burp oops.
- Come, messmates, pass the bottle 'round,
Our time is short, remember,
For our grogg must stop, our spirits drop,
On the first day of September.
For tonight we'll merry, merry be,
For tonight we'll merry, merry be,
Tomorrow we'll be sober.
- Farewell old rye, 'tis a sad, sad word,
But alas! It must be spoken,
The ruby cup must be given up,
And the demijohn be broken.
- Jack's happy days will soon be gone,
To return again, oh never!
For they've raised his pay five cents a day,
But stopped his grogg forever.
- Yet memory oft' will backward turn,
And dwell with fondness partial,
On the days when gin was not a sin,
Nor cocktails brought court martial.
- All hands to split the main brace, call,
But split it now in sorrow,
For the spirit-room key will be laid away
Forever, on tomorrow.
For tonight we'll merry, merry be,
For tonight we'll merry, merry be,
Tomorrow we'll be sober.
O Captain! My Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather'd every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red!
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up for you the flag is flung for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon'd wreaths for you the shores crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here, Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck
You've fallen cold and dead.
My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will;
The ship is anchor'd safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult, O shores! and ring, O bells!
But I, with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
I was a regular patron in the 1940s of a book store on Times Square that had a big sign in the window:
But I'm only a Cabin Boy. What do you expect from me?
Part I has twenty verses. Isn't that (Cap'n Sir/M'am) a lot to digest at the very start? But I assume you have it all planned out so I'll just go off and shine your boots.
Opium throughout History by PBS FRONTLINE
- Ships chartered by Elizabeth I are instructed to purchase the finest Indian opium and transport it back to England.
- English apothecary, Thomas Sydenham, introduces Sydenham's Laudanum, a compound of opium, sherry wine and herbs. His pills along with others of the time become popular remedies for numerous ailments.
- The Dutch export shipments of Indian opium to China and the islands of Southeast Asia; the Dutch introduce the practice of smoking opium in a tobacco pipe to the Chinese.
- Chinese emperor, Yung Cheng, issues an edictprohibiting the smoking of opium and its domestic sale, except under license for use as medicine.
- The British East India Company assumes control of Bengal and Bihar, opium-growing districts of India. British shipping dominates the opium trade out of Calcutta to China.
- Linnaeus, the father of botany, first classifies the poppy Papaver somniferum-- 'sleep-inducing', in his book Genera Plantarum.
- The British East India Company's import of opium to China reaches a staggering two thousand chests of opium per year.
- The British East India Company establishes a monopoly on the opium trade. All poppy growers in India were forbidden to sell opium to competitor trading companies.
- China's emperor, Kia King, bans opium completely, making trade and poppy cultivation illegal.
- The British Levant Company purchases nearly half of all of the opium coming out of Smyrna, Turkey strictly for importation to Europe and the United States.
- Friedrich Sertuerner of Paderborn, Germany discovers the active ingredient of opium by dissolving it in acid then neutralizing it with ammonia. The result: alkaloids--Principium somniferum or morphine.
- Physicians believe that opium had finally been perfected and tamed. Morphine is lauded as "God's own medicine" for its reliablity, long-lasting effects and safety.
- A smuggler from Boston, Massachusetts, Charles Cabot, attempts to purchase opium from the British, then smuggle it into China under the auspices of British smugglers.
- American John Cushing, under the employ of his uncles' business, James and Thomas H. Perkins Company of Boston, acquires his wealth from smuggling Turkish opium to Canton.
- John Jacob Astor of New York City joins the opium smuggling trade. His American Fur Company purchases ten tons of Turkish opium then ships the contraband item to Canton on the Macedonian. Astor would later leave the China opium trade and sell solely to England.
How can we reconcile, one naturally asks, this wide reputation (Coleridge's reputation as a romantic poet, romantic critic and a great philosopher) with the general unfamiliarity of the average reader.....The answer is two-fold. In the first place, Coleridge has left only fragmentary records of his genius.........and because of the difficult nature of his style. As a poet, to be sure, he was able to attain a simplicity equal to that of the early ballads, but in prose he seems to have been quite unable to control the vast activity of his mind.........He qualifies, defines, and digresses, until the reader - and perhaps Coleridge himself - forgets that which was orginally under discussion.
"Why did you DO that?"
"I don't know." (Tears, he really didn't know!)
"What do you mean, you don't know?"
"I didn't think."
No, for me the thing that sticks most in my mind is not the shooting, but the fact that the poor old guy still hasn't gotten past it after all these years...and is trying to explain himself to every stranger he meets....I hate to say this, but I feel more and more like that Mariner than the poor young fellow trying to get away from his story.....
HMM? Which actor do I portray? Definetely the Wedding Guest, for me. I'm a sucker for drama, new conversation and mystery. I would lend an ear to an insistent wanderer telling his tale of redemption. I am drawn to the lonely and the humble.
I can not imagine myself infringing on someones courtesy as the mariner has done at the wedding feast. He's obsessive, his emphasis is on himself and his tale. He forces his alienation on the guest. Pooh on him!
The ship was cheered,
The harbour cleared,
Merrily did we drop
Below the kirk, below the hill,
Below the lighthouse top.
The sun shines coming up on the right, the side of honor and sinks in the sea. Higher till over the mast.The Ship of life, the cradle, saviour, protector, the Ark, the ship of salvation, setting out on the sea of life, crossing the waters of death like crossing from this world to the next, has an axial in that the mast shares the significance of the Tree of Life.
The Wedding-Guest hears the loud bassoon.A phallic symbol of nature in her transitory and ever-changing aspect, falicity , great happiness, an instance of appropriate and pleasing manner.
He beat his breast his protection, love, the nourishing aspect of the Great Mother and yet he cannot chuse but hear.As if he is slipping anchor and being carried on the adventure away from his protection. Because, next the storm is described.
The ice, it cracked and growled and roared and howled like noises in a swound!
The albatroos through the fog or mist it came.A Christian soul coming through the error and confusion.
Well done. The wedding, could he be telling of the Wedding in the Bible of Christ and The Church?
You never cease to amaze me with your research, No matter where you are posting. Thank You for all of your research everwhere you post.
How can I have "more" anon when I didn't have any to begin with?
Cabin Boys make ignorant remarks like that.
Welcome to Jerrj, who came aboard just as we were pulling away.
Furthermore, such gratitude would have been shown by Christians, Budhists, Jews, Muslims, Zoroasterans, and atheists. There is nothing leading to gratitude more than relief from an incessant pain, whether it be physical or emotional. Ask anyone whose long-standing headache suddenly stops.
Of course, they "hailed it." They would have hailed blue skies with soft white clouds and a gentle breeze.
"I have a little shadow
Who goes in and out with me
And what can be the use of him
Is more than I can see."
A simple childhood poem that I recited as a boy. If I look hard enough, I can see that this shadow is indeed my alternate personality -- that I cannot see the use of him because his meaning is deeply repressed in my psyche -- that my conscious mind is not capbable of "seeing" what the subconscious mine sees -- etc. etc.
I am not trying to be funny or sarcastic here. I truly believe that there are works of literature in which the author is merely telling a story with no hidden meanings.
Composers go through this, too. Beethoven probably tried to imitate the sounds and feelings of nature when he wrote his Pastoral Symphony. Tchaikovsky also told a story with the "1812 Overture." The name tips us off. deBussy tries to imitate the calm of the ocean with "La Mer." But aren't there other pieces of music which have no meaning behind them? The composer merely wanted to delight the listener.
"as to the want of a moral, I told her that in my own judgment the poem had too much; and that the only or chief fault, if I may say so, was the obtrusion of the moral sentiment so openly on the reader as a principle or cause of action in a work of such pure imagination. It ought to have had no more moral than the Arabian Nights' tale..."
Theme and Form: "The Study of Literature."
Not all verse is poetry. For we do not call it poetry unless is involves some sustained multiple meaning. A verse that is a simple direct statement:
Simple Simon met a pieman
Going to the Fair.
Said Simple Simon to the pieman,
"Let me taste your ware,"
is not yet poetry; it is metrical fiction. But when, however simple the verse-pattern may be, there is metaphor or simile, or a pervasive irony, or an emergent theme that is carried by the imagery, then there is poetry....
Poetry, then, is fairly concentrated verse, verse rich in meanings.
The ice was here, the ice was there,
The ice was all around:
It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,
Like noises in a swound!
But all the rest of the crew were men, too!! And not only did they not kill the bird but they protested its being done.
The ice did split with at thunder-fit;
The helmsman steered us through!
In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,I was struck by the bird's attending church services, did you catch that one? Did you catch the VESPERS NINE?
It perched for vespers nine;
Why look'st thou so?"---With my cross-bow
I shot the Albatross.
Quite an ending to Part I??
So the question asked is why? For example, if the Mariner has no reason to shoot, why does he do it?
Where does human malignity come from?
Does every human act require a trangression, a breaking of harmony, as some have argued?
Is there a possibility that an uncaused will to violence or desire to break away from "virtue" exists in persons who might think themselves basically decent?
Wicked outbursts cannot always be blamed on upbringing, neighborhood, class or society, can they?
What do you think of this statement? Agree or disagree???
It is useful to know that "opposed opinions on human malignity already existed and were being debated suriong the Romantic period. Coleridge is not alone in finding that human beings are sometimes freely and deliberately evil and that original sin operates in each individual life as a moment of origination." ---Taylor
Welcome aboard, Martindale!!
We are delighted to see you here and enjoyed your post. Joan P is SOOO right, our Great Books are the jewel in our crown here in the Books and we invite you to pull up a hammock and keep some company with us here until they begin again.
I commented upon Mal's remarks earlier and now see Maryal and Shasta speaking of the psychological approach. To repeat Ginny's question: "Where does evil come from?" "How do we explain it?" And let's go past that. Was what the Mariner did actually evil? Is it part of being human? Does it come with the genes?
From my point of view, the shooting of the Albatross was the actual start of the story, not the ship's voyage. Never mind why he did it! To me, that's almost irrelevant. The true story is the reaction of the seamen and the Mariner's later reaction.
I continue to say, as Mal reminds us, that the story here -- whether it is merely a story or whether it has a moral -- is applicable to all human beings of whatever religion or to human beings who have no religion at all.
Each of us is entitled to our own interpretation of any form of art but that does not necessarily mean that our interpretation is what was in the mind of the artist.
The number one symbolizes unity, the beginning, the sum of all possibilities, the essence.The Catholic church is One, Holy, Apostolic. Is the mariner the apostle, the guest one and the albatross holy?
Where as three symbolizes: Multiplicity; creative power; growth; forward movement overcoming duality; synthesis; the first number that all can be appropriated; the beginning, middle and end; the Trinity; the three phases of the moon; heaven, earth, water, the union of body and soul in man and in the church; even Maryal's crime, punishment, redemption with crime being the concept of sin. The Chinese see Three, a yang number, meaning sanctity.
The rose is a complex symbol both heavenly perfection and earthly passion, Time and Eternity, fertility and virginity, typifies secrecy. The red rose is desire, passion, joy, beauty, consummation, flower of Venus and the blood of Christ.Paced into the hall is she being sacrificed, led by the minstrels playing and the guest again beats his breast as those at mass honor the sacrifice of Christ.
- "God save thee, ancient Mariner!
- From the fiends, that plague thee
- Why look'st thou so?"
What are the mariner's fiends? How was the mariner looking? Angry, rageful, fearful, confused, astonished, something about the reminder to the mariner about his 'fiends' makes him look in a way Coleridge does not described to us. In response to this prayer to God to save him from his fiends the mariner has a look and shoots the Albatross.
- "God save thee, ancient Mariner!
- From the fiends, that plague thee"
- Then the voice says,
- Why look'st thou so?"
The versus preceding these all seem to be spoken by the mariner also. It sure makes sense if it is the guest speaking and the
- In mist or cloud, on mast or
It perched for vespers nine;
- Whiles all the night, through
- Glimmered the white Moon-shine.
- "God save thee, ancient Mariner!
From the fiends, that plague thee
Why look'st thou so?"--With my
- I shot the ALBATROSS.
Noun 1. evil spirit; demons 2. the Devil; Satan 3. a diabolically evil or wicked person 4. One who is addicted to somethig a dope fiend 5. One who is completely absorbed in or obsessd with a given job or passtime a crossword puzzle fiend 6. One who is particularly adept at something a fiend with computers
Wordsworth's comments (from your link) place a whole new perspective on the poem - for me, at least. Wordsworth was right there while the poem was being conceived and knew his thoughts or those of Coleridge or the combination of the two.
1 - "Tutelary spirits" -- The terrible things that happened after the "crime" (as it was defined) were caused by those spirits that hovered in that area and protected natural beings such as albatrosses.
2 - "Dead men" -- they were not under the influence of opium or any other drug and their actions while being dead were made possible through the power of the protective spirits.
So if you will permit me to be a Psychologist for a moment, the Ancient Mariner was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This comes about from having gone through an extremely stressful event often involving death and, as a result, constantly having flashbacks. The PTSD sufferer goes through this pain often for years and receives a degree of relief from sharing with others. And believe me!! The PTSD sufferer CAN hold the listener spellbound as he goes through his experiences! He holds him spellbound because he is actually re-living the experience, not just reciting it from memory.
Maybe Coleridge (and Wordsworth) didn't know that term or its cause but the syndrome has existed for centuries and they may have been acquainted with it.
The more I read the poem and the more I read Wordsworth's comments, the more I am convinced that this is a class case of PTSD being presented in poetic form.
Yes, now that you remind us, I remember that. But I was not thinking too carefully that day. I either needed more sleep or a psychologist.
Have a Happy Labor Day!!
"You have to talk fast." I love it!! Now I know why I am often glued to the computer. Not because I am addicted but because a dozen of you might be saying something and I am not there to catch it.
"You have to talk fast." I love it!!
By thy long grey beard (older man) being older and wiser,
Was he perhaps Proud of the killing of the ALBATROSS as they had been feeding it Bisquit's with worms in them, so maybe he thought the ALBATROSS would like meat (worms) and might fight for the meat (dead bodies) If there were to be any dead crew. Preservation of self so he killed the ALBATROSS.
Things changed and even the crew changed there minds about the killing of the ALBATROSS.
He continues to tell the story like it was a victory.
I am not a writer as you can tell but have my own thought's Yes I have read the book.
Ginny, Thank you for encouarging me to post by saying we all have our thoughts and should post them.
The Cross Bow could be a means of protection OR used for fresh fish harpooning which supplies the juice and the substance needed for our human bodies.
NO A lot of times it is greed. I want, I want, I want, Whatever the human wants
Please talk to me about this.
Were the spirits bad? They killed the men.
I guess that is not in the First Part so I should not have commented on that.
To get passed the heading is to scoll to the last post and then go back up but you will miss alot as the heading change's often.
Your senior net friend.
with much apprieciation for your knowledge.
Look what you did to my face!!
OH CAPTIAN MY CAPTIAN Where are you?
Me thinks I am out of here and leave room for you more intelligent people.
Just another point of view. OK?
I don't really know whether what I am posting tonight is relevant to the poem in your eyes as far as this work is concerned, but it most certainly is to me.Because in my book that is all tha counts. Reading and sharing with this group has brought so many of us closer to a clearer understanding of ourselves and that to me is what reading these timeless authers is all about.
It ate the food it ne'er had eat,
and round and round it flew.
The ice dids split with a thunder-fit;
The helmsman steered us through!
Many of us have been shamed, especially woman and it is easy to react to the elements of shame when they are included by an author. Shame is when you are wrong not that you have done something wrong which you feel ashamed. Children are often shamed as if they are bad not that they are wonderful and lovable simply having done somthing unacceptable.
- And I had done an hellish thing,
- And it would work 'em woe:
- For all averred,I had killed the bird
- That made the breeze to blow.
- Ah wretch! said they, the bird to slay
- That made the breeze to blow!
Albatrosses are extraordinarily long-lived. This is known from recoveries of birds wearing bands or rings that were attached at a known time and place. The longevity record is of a giant royal albatross (Diomedea epomohora) banded in New Zealand and recovered as a breeding adult 58 years later. Theoretically they could live to be more than 80 years old.
Mariner: guilt and dread
From the psychiatric evidence, it seems that a child of the age that Coleridge was when his father died suffers the worst consequences from the bereavement, if the loss is poorly handled by the surviving adults.
At this age the child possesses both a concept of death as such, but at the same time is liable to regress to an earlier stage of infant thought in which his hostility to the parent appears to have caused the death, an act for which he will receive equivalent punishment. Coleridge's exile to Christ's Hospital was the first stage of punishment for his inadequate love for his father. It was a punishment which was to be lifelong.
Coleridge's grief at his father's death was thus likely to have been attended by a dread so powerful that all memory of grief was repressed. But the dread was invoked on every other occasion in Coleridge's life involving the demands of love, including his love for Sara Hutchinson (who eventually fled from Coleridge's anxieties and paranoia). And the dread was, most notably, attached to the symbol of the Albatross when Coleridge came to write his poem.
As the dread had no cause in Coleridge's conscious understanding, no motive could be assigned to the shooting of the Albatross; it is an act fraught with the most terrible consequences, but lacking any adequate rationale. That it involves some horrifying compulsion is suggested by the Wedding Guest's response at this point in the verse:
- "God save thee, ancient Mariner!
- From the fiends, that plague thee
- thus! --
Why look'st thou so?" -- With my
- I shot the ALBATROOS.
The story of the Albatross seems to have acted like a lightning conductor, locating the guilt on an exterior symbol and temporarily freeing Coleridge for his major feat of creative energy. As Freud noticed, speaking of criminals in the context of the power of the super-ego (which is largely unconscious), a crime may be the result of guilt rather than its cause. "It is as if it was a relief to be able to fasten this unconscious sense of guilt on to something real and immediate."
And a good south wind sprung up behind;
The Albatross did follow,
And every day, for food or play,
Came to the mariner's hollo!
Has anyone here ever hurt the person you love? Even purposely?
The trauma was not the shooting of the bird. The trauma was the reaction of others and later his own to his killing of the bird. The trauma was the reaction of the remaining seamen plus what he then sees happening to the entire crew. The trauma was the remaining voyage.
Ginny asks: "Is there 'guilt' and 'sin' in psychology?" The term 'sin' is used often by pastoral counselors but is not used by most psychologists. And I should add here a major difference (this is my opinion) between 'guilt' and 'shame." They are often used interchangeably but are not at all synonymous.
Guilt, as I see it, is a reaction to breaking a rule set up by someone else or by society in general. I stayed overtime at a parking meter and am therefore guilty and must pay a fine. That is the consequence. I broke someone else's rule. Shame (again as I see it) is reaction to breaking a rule which I had set up for myself. I promised myself that I would be honest and then proceeded to lie. I am ashamed. Now I must suffer the consequence. What is the consequence? It is an "eating oneself out." Shame is much the harshest standard and the reaction is usually much stronger. With shame I did something to myself. I hurt myself and possibly hurt others by not meeting my own standards. This is often repressed as I do not want to admit that I did not meet my own standards. With guilt, I pay society's price and get on with my life. With shame, it rests within me and I feel the need to atone in one way or another. The need for atonement (which some here may consider solely a religious term, but I do not)may be eased in a comparatively short time or may last a lifetime.
I see the Mariner as being ashamed at what he did to a bird he apparently loved once it was forcibly called to his attention by the crew. And I see him as wandering the earth for a lifetime looking for redemption (once again not just a religious term).
Some veterans suffering from PTSD have deep shame that they did or did not take certain actions in combat which were against their own values. Except with professional help, they find it almost impossible to share this fact and carry it with them for a lifetime.
Much more significant than the motto from Burnet, however, was Coleridge's other alteration: the addition of the marginal prose gloss.
In 1843 Wordsworth told Miss Fenwick that the marginal gloss was not a part of the original plan for The Ancient Mariner and that it was, therefore, "no doubt . . . a gratuitous after-thought" (WPW, i 361). Although the gloss was, indeed, an afterthought (though by no means a gratuitous one), it is impossible to say just how much of an afterthought it really was. It might have been composed at any time between 1800 and 1817, and there is a good deal of evidence to suggest that it existed, in some form, at a relatively early date. Coleridge's Notebooks between 1804 and 1812, for example, contain a number of parallels to the gloss (CN ii 2293, 2610, 2727; iii 4041, 4166), and these may be  either anticipations of the gloss or, possibly, echoes of it. Moreover, as R.C. Bald has noted, some early annotations by Coleridge in a copy of Lyrical Ballads (1800) support the conjecture that the gloss was written "comparatively soon after the original composition of the poem".28
For the most part, the gloss provides a running commentary and summary of the poem's narrative action; it is essentially, that is, an artistic restatement of what is obvious in the text, a translation of the poem's substance into prose. At certain points in the supernatural parts of the story, however, the gloss adds details that are not in the poem itself. Thus, the gloss asserts that the Ancient Mariner's shipmates "make themselves accomplices in the crime" (opposite line 101), that the Polar Spirit moves the ship "in obedience to the angelic troop" (opposite line 381), and that the Mariner's penance is exacted after a bargain is struck between the Polar Spirit and the angelic host (opposite line 393). Similarly, the gloss on the dice-game in Part iii (lines 195- makes the meaning of the episode explicit in a way that the poem does not:
Death and Life-in-Death have diced for The naked hulk alongside came, the ship's And the twain were casting dice; crew, and she "The game is done! I've won! I've won!" (the latter) Quoth she, and whistles thrice. winneth the ancient Mariner.
These glossarial additions serve, as B.R. McElderry observes, both to strengthen the poem's "moral" theme of crime and punishment and to give Coleridge an opportunity to explain certain obscure or ambiguous incidents in the poetic narrative: "It is as if an artist drew a sketch from his own finished picture. As he sketches he follows the main design of his subject, but here and there he strengthens a line and adds a detail".29 While most readers have accepted McElderry's view that the 1817 gloss is not an artistic flaw (the poem and the gloss constitute, "not one 'true' story, but two versions, related, yet independent", of the same story) and that the gloss provides useful clues to Coleridge's ethical intentions in composing The Ancient Mariner, there is a dissenting minority of recent critics -- spearheaded by William Empson -- who regard  the gloss as a "parasitic growth" that must be removed before the poem can be properly appreciated or understood.30 McElderry's argument for the artistic integrity of the gloss is supported and extended by Huntington Brown in an interesting analysis of the dramatic relationship between poem and gloss. While the poem is clearly intended to be the work of an imaginary medieval minstrel, the style and the particular kind of learning displayed in the gloss mark it out as belonging to a later period: "the minstrel is not meant to be the author of the gloss. The gloss can only be the work of an imaginary editor", whose prose style and learning declare him to be "a scholar, modern rather than medieval, but distinctly old-fashioned, therefore an early and bookish antiquarian".31 In this view, the gloss achieves a semi-autonomous status and functions dramatically as a kind of choric commentary on the poetic narrative. By refracting the credulous medieval minstrel's supernatural tale through the pious understanding of an imaginary Renaissance editor-glossator, Coleridge was able (according to Brown) both to emphasise the remoteness of his story and to make it more acceptable to "enlightened" contemporary readers.
This information comes to us via One of the best articles on the Rime you will ever read!
Of course the issue to us HERE is Question #1 and 2, what do YOU think, now that you have read the opinions of the scholars? What do YOU think? That's what we are here for.
Acute Stress Disorder (which after one month is called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) stems from a person experiencing, witnessing, or having been contronted with some event that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of himself or others. The person's response would ordinarily be fear, helplessness, or horror. (I would definitely include the Mariner in this.)
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder does not need any event. The person has recurrent and persistent thoughts, impulses, or images that are intrusive and inappropriate and that cause marked anxiety or distress. This may be related to a brain chemical imbalance. (I don't see this in the Mariner story.)
How would you act if you saw a bunch of dead men around you doing their usual duties?
How do these albatross mates find each other? Do you suppose he wears a red feather? Do they agree to meet under a prominent overhanging rock? But apparently they do find each other.
I have no idea how people having separate vacations find each other.
I have always liked story songs and poems, which are best read and sung aloud. And the "Rime" is so real. The tape as annafair described was delightful. I, too, am quite deaf, but I closed the door and turned it up loud and read along. The description of the crews' condition in Part II was very good.
I wonder if it has been established how many years before, the Marinere encounters the Wedding Guest, does the tragic voyage take place.
Has he been stopping others and told his story?
Did he come to the Wedding scene with the idea of finding another listener?
It would seem that the Marinere was much younger. But then, the harrowing experience might have aged him and turned him grey over-night.
I like the suspense and am anxious to get on to Part II.
Now may I have my grog... This voyage is very tiring in addition to my other duties... but I will survive better than the Marinere. I'll just not shoot the bird (good omen) that comes along.
Invented anecdotes by, or letters from, a Friend (who is himself) become a favorite rhetorical device in his lectures (see Coburn's Collected Works...), and of course, in his criticism...
He came to think of himself also (or others saw him, and he accepted their judgments) as the Old Navigator (after the Ancient Mariner), as the Glossist interpreting the Mariner's tale for us....
Dealing with Coleridge is like dealing with not one person but a dozen...One Coleridge won't do...I urge students to live with the ambiguity, undertainty, indeterminancy of many Coleridges, fitting the appropriate biographical facts and the successive stages in his personal and professional development to the appropriate piece of writing...
What purpose does a multilayered Coleridge serve? It corrects the myth that Coleridge was a poet destroyed by opium and metaphysics and reduces to nonissue the question of why he did not live up to his promise as a poet.
It allows us to read the poems as representative of one stage in his development, as the youthful product of an ardent imagination. It helps one resist the temptation to read the poems from the perspective of the middle and late Coleridge...It urges one to be cautious about hanging political tags on him.
It supplements Coleridge's compositional peculiarities with a gloss of changing personalities."
"And now the STORM-BLAST came, and he
Was tyrannous and strong:
He struck with his o'ertaking wings,
And chased us south along.
Faith I understand what you are saying and had to research to come up with concrete information to support what you say you are feeling and what I am also, feeling. This is my learned basic information that allows me to see the Mariner accepting the crews concept of his action as the measurement of his good or bad.
Yes, I see the Mariner as an ancient man telling a story that is not only about all he has been through but that he was made the scapegoat and he is filled with feelings of irrational guilt, shame and blame. Not wanting to blame the crew, his family aboard ship, a group of men that live very closely and depend on each other for survival, he will blame himself rather than risk feeling their abandonment.
No one has the right to judge and criticize your personal qualities and performance (Patricia Evans, The verbally Abusive Relationship) Abusers claim that the one they've scapegoated "made" them act out the inappropriate behavior.
Good will is a warmth and honesty which comes from one's deepest sense of truth. It is a concern for the other's well being as well as a strong desire to understand the other. It is demonstrated by a movement toward the other with the intention of reaching mutual understanding and respect.
As the Mariner moved toward the albatross with the appearance of an intention toward reaching mutual respect the Mariner than betrayed the bird. Although, the Mariner says nothing about the bird "making" him shoot it. We are the ones trying to determine what made the Mariner shoot the bird.
The Mariner's world on the southern sea is a fozen arena with no movement toward reaching mutural respect-- man with nature. The Mariner, as the ancient, did not show good will in a warm way toward the wedding guest although, he seemed to be acting from his depest sense of truth and honesty. The Mariner doesn't seem to be integrated but split in his movement toward mutual understanding and respect, warmth and honesty.
To me the gloss simply anchored the story but I thought the sentances were pleasent but unnecessary. For me the gloss didn't seem to provide any great insight nor for that matter clarify the storyline.
The phrase "water water everywhere" is an alliteration that everyone says easily, including children. I would guess that the majority of people (including adults) do not even know it comes from the "Rime" much less be able to quote the poem. It is a catchy phrase which can be applied to everyday life. Another example: So many people can say "four score and" - at that point many of them are stumped. It is catchy because the two words rhyme but most people can't go beyond that more than a word or so. I would guess that the majority of people (children and adults) have no idea that Lincoln said it or where or when or what a "score" is.
That, again, is a Figure of Speech, isn't it? -- a metaphor. These are what I described earlier as "catchy." Down-to-earth language that any "uneducated" person can understand and remember. I agree - it is a beautiful stanza!
"Educated" people understand it, too. In my thinking, educated is not the same as intelligent. An intelligent person who has not gone to school has no formal education but has a sharp mind.
Ah wretch ! said they, the bird to slay,
That made the breeze to blow !
His shipmates cry out against the ancient Mariner, for killing the bird of good luck.
'Twas right, said they, such birds to slay, That bring the fog and mist.
But when the fog cleared off, they justify the same, and thus make themselves accomplices in the crime.
It is an enormous blunder in these engravings of De Serte, brought here by Dr. Aitken, to represent the An.M. as an old man on board ship. He was in my mind the everlasting wandering Jew - had told his story ten thousand times since the voyage, which was in his early youth and 50 years before.It is apparent through Coleridge's own notes and translations that at the time of undertaking the Ancient Mariner, he was heavily influenced by the writings of Schiller, Lessing, Wieland and other German writers who were interested in the tale of the Wandering Jew. Other sources of the tale were available to Coleridge through Percy's Reliques Of Ancient English Poetry and Lewis's The Monk.
The mariner, as in most versions of the Wandering Jew, wishes death upon himself, to end his indefinite suffering. The place of exile has moved from the rural wilderness of European villages, out into the uncharted oceans. Just as the Wandering Jew will forever roam, so will the Ancient Mariner, spreading his tale of tragedy. Coleridge's variant of the Wandering Jew, the man is repentant for his sin, he has prayed to God for forgiveness. Yet Nature is still turned against him. He still has to wander the earth aimlessly telling his remorseful story. He will forever be in agony for the one sin he has committed. It is an unfair persecution: his crime was not deliberate and our unqualified sympathy is elicited.
- Instead of the cross, the Albatross
- About my neck was hung.
Do your think that Coleridge is trying to show what Jim brought to our attention. That is-- that all Christians, as all the crew, are implicated in the killing of the albatross?? Then we really get this Christian message of the Albatross being Jesus --??
In his loneliness and fixedness he yearneth towards the journeying Moon, and the stars that still sojourn, yet still move onward ; and every where the blue sky belongs to them, and is their appointed rest, and their native country and their own natural homes, which they enter unannounced, as lords that are certainly expected and yet there is a silent joy at their arrival.
Ah ! well a-day ! what evil looks
Had I from old and young !
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.
A Spirit had followed them ; one of the invisible inhabitants of this planet, neither departed souls nor angels ; concerning whom the learned Jew, Josephus, and the Platonic Constantinopolitan, Michael Psellus, may be consulted. They are very numerous, and there is no climate or element without one or more.
"Coleridge writes a narrative that seems to hang together but that is an illusion at the level of causation, as when the mariners sit stuck in the ice, the albatross shows up, they feed it, and then the ice jam breaks and they sail on.
We are likely to see in this course of events what they see-- causation, rather than coincidence.
The ice broke becaus they fed the albatross, which obviously was a supernatural visitor. But I doubt that evidence from the poem supports these assumptions. For the moment, I'm sure that the opposite can be shown, that the mariners' primitive attempt to read causation into things gets them into real trouble. Of course the text doen't say that the specter ship has come to revenge the Mariner's act and the mariners' general culpability. I'm filling that in because of my insatiable desire to seee causation instead of absurdity....
The general point is that whenever something happens in sequence our cognitive reaction is to assume causal relation."
The Mariners changed their minds because that's the nature of the human beast. Instant gratification. Whatever I think is beneficial to ME at the moment is what I am for. Never mind what I said yesterday.
OK, Miss Goodrich? You feel better now?
Let's develop alter egos so we're not having to project an image which we know. It would be much more free. What would really be interesting would be to actually take on the personas of this different band. We could say, 'How would somebody else sing this? He might approach it a bit more sarcastically, perhaps.' So I had this idea of giving the Beatles alter egos simply to get a different approach; then when John came up to the microphone or I did, it wouldn't be John or Paul singing, it would be the members of this band. It would be a freeing element. I thought we can run this philosophy through the whole album: with this alter-ego band, it won't be us making all that sound., it won't be the Beatles, it'll be this other band, so we'll be able to lose our identities in this.
I understand repetition in Lit. is making an important point. I became curious as to what the word averred means. I do not have a dictionary of word usage from the 18th and early 19th c. My dictionary shows me two possibilites.
- For all averred, I had killed the bird
- That made the breeze to blow.
- Then all averred, I had killed the bird
- That brought the fog and mist.
But Ginny pointed out, and rightly so, that Painted Ship on Painted Ocean was a simile, not a metaphor as I said, because it contained the word "as."
It is an ancient Mariner,
And he stoppeth one of three.
`By thy long beard and glittering eye,
Now wherefore stopp'st thou me ?
I pass, like night, from land to land ;
I have strange power of speech ;
That moment that his face I see,
I know the man that must hear me:
To him my tale I teach.
You didn't mention carrying your papers to the bathroom, too. I believe it was in "Cheaper By the Dozen" that this room was mentioned as being the best reading room in the house.
Punishment is never a "virtuous act." There may be times when it seems the wisest thing to do but never, in my opinion, within the concept of virtue.
- Chorus: All around old Cape Horn
Ships of the line, ships of the morn
Some who wish they'd never been born
They are the ghosts of Cape Horn
Fal deral da riddle de rum
With a rim dim diddy
And a rum dum dum
Sailing away at the break of morn
They are the ghosts of Cape Horn
See them all in sad repair
Demons dance everywhere
Southern gales, tattered sails
And none to tell the tales
- Come all of you rustic old sea dogs
Who follow the great Southern Cross
You we're rounding the Horn
In the eye of a storm
When ya lost 'er one day
And you read all yer letters
From oceans away
Then you took them to the bottom of the sea
- Chorus: repeat.
- Come all you old sea dogs from Devon
Southampton, Penzance, and Kinsale
You were caught by the chance
Of a sailor's last dance
It was not meant to be
And ya read all yer letters
Cried anchor aweigh
Then ya took them to the bottom of the sea
- Chorus: repeat.
Maybe we no longer see those figures in the stars because we are no longer that close to the land and to nature. If we spent our days following trails and hunting and listening to stories about gods and goddesses, and spent our nights lying on the grass and looking up at the stars, maybe we would see those figures too.
The Don asks, "Well, what can you say about it?"
And the Prince of Wales says, "What's the point? What's the point of literature?"
And the Don answers, "It's a personal journey.
It's different for all of us.
The point is not to discover things about literature, but things about ourselves.
The tiniest things have the greatest significance.
Through mere words on a page we apprehend our own mortality, and therefore, the urgency of love.
Isn't that what's precious?
Isn't that what poetry is?"
Are we dancing while we are becalmed or when the deck is heaving back and forth?
~In Part First - the STORM_BLAST is the first character in the drama...HE came, dark. tyrannous and strong, chasing the ship into the ice with o'ertaking WINGS...The Storm is the enemy, the STORM is winged, a BIRD...malevolent.
~Enter another BIRD, large, white and pious...Bird represents DELIVERANCE from the ice, from Evil.
“a strong dislike for "analyzing a story to death." Sometimes the symbolic interpretation of a story or poem can seem pretty far-fetched.
Nevertheless, as soon as you start writing, you start writing on some kind of symbolic level. Maybe you're not conscious of it, but it's there: in your characters, their actions, the setting, and the images. (Some writers are very powerful symbolists, but don't realize it; that's why authors are often poor critics of their own work.)”
The Navy's Medal of Honor
was the first approved and the first designed.
The Medal of Honor design consisted of an INVERTED, 5-pointed STAR. On each of the five points was a cluster of LAUREL leaves to represent victory, mixed with a cluster of OAK to represent strength. Surrounding the encircled insignia were 34 stars, equal to the number of stars in the US Flag at the time in 1862....one star for each state of the Union including the 11 Confederate states. The stars are also symbolic of the "heavens and the divine goal which man has aspired to since time immemorial" according to Charles Thompson, Secretary of the Continental Congress back in 1777.
Inside the circle of 34 stars were engraved two images. To the right is the image of Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom and war. On her helmet is perched an owl, representing WISDOM. In keeping with the Roman tradition, her left hand holds a bundle of rods and an ax blade, symbolic of authority. The shield in her right hand is the shield of the Union of our states (similar to the shield on our seal and other important emblems.)
Recoiling from Minerva is a man clutching snakes in his hands. He represented DISCORD and the insignia came to be known as "Minerva Repulsing Discord". Taken in the context of the Civil War soldiers and sailors struggling to overcome the discord of the states and preserve the Union, the design was as fitting as it was symbolic.
The ribbon that held the medal was originally a blue bar on top and 13 red and white stripes running vertically. The 13 represents the original 13 colonies. The color white represents purity and innocence, red represents hardiness, valor and blood, blue signifies vigilance, perseverance and justice. The stripes also represent the rays of the sun.
In 1965 the Air Force MOH was created and it replaced the Minerva portrait with the head of the Statue of Liberty. Lady liberty has a pointed crown instead of a helmet. And she does stand for liberty although she is derived from the imagery of Semiramis, wife of Nimrod, and Queen of Babylon. Semiramis was famed for her beauty, strength, and wisdom and was said to have built the famous Hanging Gardens of Babylon. She purportedly reigned for 42 years after taking control from Nimrod. She is a mythical figure who might be somewhat based upon a historical figure.
the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in his wings." This was taken by the early Christians as a reference to the coming of Christ. There are other Sun-god figures in the Old Testament under a wide variety of names. They are Samson (whose name means "solar"), David, Solomon, Saul (equals soul, or sol, the sun--Latin.), Abraham, Moses, Gideon, Jephtha and the like. Their actions identify them as solar representatives. .Like Greek and Roman temples, the first churches were built with Eastern oriented facades, and worshippers faced the East, the direction of the rising sun, while praying.
- "There is no sensible thing in all
the world more worthy to be an
image of God than the sun, which
with its sensible light illumines first
itself, and then all celestial and ele-
mentary bodies; so God first illu-
mines Himself with intellectual
light, and then the celestial and
-Dante - 13th-Century Italian
There is, however, a clear distinction to be made between those who visited the ship to further their trade, the oldest profession in the world, who left when the ship sailed and those who were there when the ship sailed, often with the collusion of the ship's officers. Of those living aboard the ship, they appeared to represent the social classes in that there were the women who served the needs of men and others who served the officers. Most of the contemporary references to this situation are drawn from various ribald songs which have survived from the time. Furtiveness was their watch word as they existed in a gloomy half-light between decks. What we lack is a first-hand account, so far as we know, no women recorded their exploits of life at sea.
However, there was obviously concern from official quarters that this practice existed judging by the regulations in successive rule books. All through the eighteenth century the rules included articles such as this example from 1756:
" ... no woman ever be permitted on board but such as are really the wives of the men they come to, and the Ship not to be too much pestered with them. But the indulgence is only to be tolerated in Port and not under Sailing Orders."
The Captain of the CAMILLA in 1809 wrote that he disapproved of the previous Captain's habit of "having with him a kept mistress, a companion that did not do much honour to his station".
Naturally many women visited ships when then were in harbour and it was noted that "it is frequently the case that men take two prostitutes on board at a time, so that sometimes there are more women on board than men ... Men and women ... shamelessly and unblushingly couple like dogs"
It was always the case when a ship entered harbour that the bum-boats flocked out to it full to the gunwales with prostitutes which were selected by the sailors and brought on board. The boatman who brought them out often acted as a pimp and Jack Nastyface in his book describes the boatmen getting three shillings on top of his regular fare for each woman he brought out.
The other group of women to be found aboard ship were the wives of officers, marines and seamen. There are allusions to officer's wives living on board at least semi-permanently from 1600. By 1800 it was certainly not unusual for admirals downwards to take their wives with them on a cruise. After Nelson had been seriously wounded at Santa Cruz he asked to be taken to another ship so that he would not offend the wife of Captain Fremantle, Betsy, with his wounds. She was on board his flagship the SEAHORSE.
In 1800 Captain Sir William Henry Dillon took his wife to sea with him in the LEOPARD, the reason for this we are told was that he had recently married her and found out too late that she was a total spendthrift and would quickly squander his fortune. By taking her with him she would have no opportunity to spend anything. We know too that Dillon's Second Lieutenant also had his wife on permanently on board. The warrant and petty officers also applied to various Captains for permission to take their wives on board and this was rarely refused. We hear of Admiral St. Vincent complaining of the amount of water which women used while at sea for washing and the like.
Richardson, the Gunner of the TROMP in 1800 took his wife with him on a cruise to the West Indies. He originally felt this was not suitable due to the terrible disease problems in their destination, Martinique. However, "after some entreaty I gave my consent, especially as the Captain's, the Master's, The Purser's and the Boatswain's wives were going with them: the Sergeant of marines and six other men's wives had leave to go."
Although women were on board they rarely appeared but we do know that when the HORATIO struck a rock in 1815 and all hands were called to the pumps five women appeared to help. Only one of them was known to the officer present and that was the bosun's wife. Fifty years before that a dead woman was found "sewn up in a hammacoe" in the bread room of the DEFIANCE. After a court of enquiry it was decided that she had died of a fever and that those who knew of her existence were acquitted It is known for certain that women were present on many cruises and that they took part in some engagements. Those present at the Battle of the Nile (1798) certainly petitioned to be awarded the commemorative medal claiming they had served a gun during the fight. John Nicol, who served in the powder magazine of the GOLIATH at the Nile kept abreast of what was happening in the heat of action by consulting the women and boys who carried the cartridges. "Any information we got was from the boys and the women who carried the powder. The women behaved as well as the men ... I was much indebted to the Gunner's wife who gave her husband and me a drink of wine every now and then ... Some of the women were wounded and one woman belonging to Leith died of her wounds. One woman bore a son in the heat of the action: she belonged to Edinburgh ..." After Trafalgar (1805) Jane Townshend of the DEFIANCE applied for her medal "presenting strong and highly satisfactory certificates of her useful services during the combat".
What did these women do during combat? The usual job seemed either to help the surgeon with his gruesome task or else to run cartridges to the guns. There has recently been some discussion as to a painting by Thomas Stothard showing a gun being served in the heat of action. Some commentators feel that two of the figures around the gun are women. I am not so sure. One of the problems for the modern historian is that the women were not rated and therefore did not appear in any of the muster lists.
There were a third category of women to be found aboard the ships - those who masqueraded as men. The most famous case, admittedly during an earlier war, was that of Hannah Snell who served for at least five years as a seaman, soldier and even marine. At the battle of Pondicherry she was wounded in twelve places and removed one bullet herself to avoid detection! When she finally returned home she declared herself and was given her pay. In our period most of the references to female sailors are taken from popular songs and must be greeted with some scepticism. However from a court-martial document of 1807 we read that " one of the witnesses in this awful and horrible trial was a little female tar, Elizabeth Bonden, who has been on board the HAZARD these eight months. She appeared in court in a long jacket and blue trousers..." Another 'cross-dresser' was recorded in the QUEEN CHARLOTTE where, in 1815 William Brown had been serving for eleven years. William was a ' negress' and reportedly an excellent seaman, having filled, for many years, the prime position of Captain of t
Whether in the Mariner's universe or in the universe of all of us, I believe that it is 90% a roll of the dice. Justice has nothing to do with it. I know many here will disagree with me but I think of the lottery. A particular number is handed to me and that is it. (It is common in combat for a soldier who escaped a bullet to say: "That one didn't have my number on it."
Think of the work being done nowadays on genes. Each of us is handed particular genes by chance. Within that "box" (the 90% mentioned above) we have an opportunity in our small way to make a minute change in our life (the 10%) but eventually the genes win out.
If a patient comes to me and mentions that he once had a heart attack, I ask him (her) if there is a history of cardiac problems in the family. If yes, then genes may very well be there.
"The game is done! I've won! I've won!" Death wins the crew. Life-in-Death wins the Mariner. We cannot know which way our lives will go. Even with the genes, we might live to 100. And depending also upon our genes which also have an effect on our approach to life, we might move on ahead happily or we might spend the rest of our lives grabbing the jacket of others and telling everyone we meet about our time on the operating table or our near death experience in a car accident.
Regardless of which approach we take, it is often common after such an experience to change our ways toward others:
"He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small:
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all."
Frustrated Cabin Boy
I believe I did enlarge on that in Post 825. And to enlarge even further, if the person who keeps buttonholng someone to re-tell his story has flashbacks, then we have (as I stated in an even earlier posting) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. After all, mental illness is nothing more than "normal" activities carried to an extreme.
When his mother shrieked on the night of his father's death, Coleridge claims he started from his sleep exclaiming "Papa is dead." Although Coleridge did not know it at the time, John Coleridge had recently dreamed he would die . As Coleridge thought more deeply, he ascribed the possibility of prophecy to "deeper dreams," which he said were imageless but contained "a profound Presentiment or Boding." Prophetic dreams were the stuff of tragic drama from Shakespeare.
Coleridge had complex thoughts upon"night-mair." He used the "mair" suffix, meaning a (female) subscribe or monster, rather than "mare" (from Old English mere) meaning a female horse, because "he implicitly wished to convey his belief in their suffocating, monstrous qualities." Coleridge also placed great emphasis upon the agony of being "touched" in nightmairs, as when "a claw-like talon-mailed Hand grasped hold" of him. Sensations of sight, hearing, and taste also occurred, all of which caused him to decide that nightmairs were not properly dreams, but rather a "species of Reverie . . . during which the Understanding & Moral Sense are awake tho' more or less confused, and over the Terrors of which the Reason can exert no influence . . . because it is not true Terror." In addition to the sense of touch, Coleridge's nightmairs were also characterized by sensations of suffocation, emptiness, and nothingness.
Coleridge's most original and sometimes wild speculations as he sought to trace specific dreams and the characters of his "Morphean space," he called his "dreamatis personae," to specific bodily ailments.
- Examples: Guilt and Falsehood could be "traced to the Gastric Life";
- the liver provides the organic source for "life-stifling fear, soul-stifling shame";
the need to urinate might provoke dreams containing water imagery;
fear has its origin in the digestive system;
rage, in the vascular- muscular system, etc.
In the Ancient Mariner, "The mariner's experience reveals, in many ways, the true physical and spiritual horror of an imagination that has frozen, 'suspended' in time." The medical imagination is therefore the link between the body and the mental activity of dreams and poetry.
If "life is a crap shoot," that does not necessarily mean that "somebody else" spun, measured, and cut the thread of your life. Sometimes dice just "accidentally" fall off the table and end up "snake-eyes."
1 - Dice don't have to be thrown. They can fall.
2 - It wasn't blood that enabled the Mariner to speak, it was liquid for his parched mouth. There was no water available.
The dominant religions of the world judge gambling on a moral basis, claiming that it is secular. But not too long ago, gambling...was intricately connected with religious rites and festivals and, in fact, such sacred gambling also lies at the root of Western religious development. Although it may seem to be a contradiction in terms, gambling is as spiritual as praying. Both activities seek divine affirmation and reversal of fortune.
Archaeological Records Tie in Dice with Cycle of Death and Rebirth. No historical period or culture on the globe lacks the means for gambling, and it was often associated with death and rebirth. One Egyptian tomb-painting (c. 3500 BCE) depicts a nobleman in his after—life playing a dice board game of hounds and jackals. A Sumerian board game was found in a royal cemetery dated to circa 2600 BCE. ...Icelandic and Hindu mythology mirror many Native American myths that claim that the gods destroy and recreate the world on a diceboard.
By day the LORD directs his love, at night his song is with me-- a prayer to the God of my life.
I say to God my Rock, "Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?"
Deut. 5:26 For what mortal man has ever heard the voice of the living God speaking out of fire, as we have, and survived? Cry of when in response to where, drought of communion with God Vulnerable when things go wrong for professes faith in God, among those who those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, not those already filled.
Alas! (thought I, and my heart beat loud)
How fast she nears and nears!
Seven days and nights-- seven the number of the universe the microcosm, completness, in total, seven rays of the sun by which man passes from this world to the next , pillars of wisdom, seven angles of the presence, cardinal virtues, deadly sins, tiers of purgertory, devils cast out of Christ, periods of fasting and penitence. The Ark rested on the seventh month and the dove was sent on the seventh day.
I'm not suggesting that we go into the Mariner's background or upbringing. I am just saying that this is the life that was handed him based upon the throw of the dice. In the poem, the dice determined that the other seamen were to die and he was to live on with constant emotional anguish or, in other words, Life-in-Death.
I don't know on what day I was born but I understand there are calendars of some sort that can tell us. I was born Sept. 25, 1920. Can anyone tell me what day that was?
And a thousand, thousand slimy things
Lived on; and so did I.
the creatures of
and so many
"The souls did from their bodies fly-
They fled to bliss or woe!
"Students have unearthed the following:
The early act of killing, the incomprehensible motives; the long penance; the hauntings from alternate spiritual sources (Svidrigaylov and Sonya); the debilitating effect of utilitarian and self-aggrandizing theory divorced from feeling; the isolation of the criminal from the human community; the criminal's burden of willful self-destruction; the final uncertainty about whether the criminal is healed after being punished."
"A sailor or mariner is persecuted by unjust forces, commits a crime for reasons that are never fully explained or clear, wanders aimlessly pursued by the unjust powers and a sense of guilt. In 'Adventures on Salisbury Plain' and Ancient Mariner the psychological effect of the crime and the wandering is that of the destruction of personality and the dizzying submission to tormenting dreams. 'Adventures on Salisbury Plain', along with "Salisbury Plain,' which it revises, is explicitly a poem of political protest.
Another similar theme is found in Wordsworth's 'The Discharged Soldier.' Both the Mariner and the soldier have returned, but they still wander, outcasts narrating their tales.
Why does Wordsworth in 'The Discharged Soldier' duplicate the physical appearances of Coleridge's Mariner? What is the significance of his naturalizing the tale that Coleridge presented as supernatural?
Why does Coleridge seem to be more concerned in the Mariner with a psychological rather than a social explanation of guilt? Do Coleridge's changes in Wordsworth's narrative in 'Salisbury Plain' constitute a critique of Wordsworth's own poems?
Coleridge commented extensively on Wordsworth's poetry, to praise Wordsworth, and to assure readers that he, Coleridge, did not totally agree with Wordsworth… Wordsworth is the poet of nature; Coleridge, of the supernatural."
thanks for finding that Marlryn.
- About, about, in reel and rout,
The Death-fires danc’d at night.
I closed my lids, and kept them close,
And the balls like pulses beat:
For the sky and the sea, and the sea and the sky,
Lay like a load on my weary eye,
And the dead were at my feet.
That he who many a year with toil of breath
Found death in life, may here find life in death:
"that self same moment I could pray;
And from my neck so free
The Abatross fell off, and sank
Like lead into the sea."
Under the wanton and unnatural vice of Nero, there began a carnival of blood such as even heathen Rome never saw before or since. A "vast multitude" of Christians was put to death in the most shocking manner. Some were crucified, probably in mockery of the punishment of Christ, some sewed up in the skins of wild beasts and exposed to the voracity of mad dogs in the arena. The satanic tragedy reached its climax at night in the imperial gardens on the slope of the Vatican (which embraced, it is supposed, the present site of the place and church of St. Peter): Christian men and women, covered with pitch or oil or resin, and nailed to posts of pine, were lighted and burned as torches for the amusement of the mob; while Nero, in fantastical dress, displayed his art as charioteer. Burning alive was the ordinary punishment of incendiaries; but only the cruel ingenuity of this imperial monster, under the inspiration of the devil, could invent such a horrible system of illumination.
A Jewish Augustine (a name applied to Nero's court entourage. A group of ne'erdowells who, along with the Emperor, practised debauchery on a scale never seen before or since. Massive orgies involving the Vestal Virgins, and the roaming of Rome's streets to attack and mug innocent victims. Any resistance led to the victim's death courtesy of Nero's Praetorian guards). This Jewish Augustine was mentioned as the one who suggested to Nero to start indulging in bestiality.
But the atrocious act was too public to leave room for such a mistake. Moreover Nero, had no quarral with the Jews. His second wife, Poppaea Sabina, a year before the conflagration, had shown special favor to Josephus, and loaded him with presents. Josephus speaks of the crimes of Nero, but does not say a word about any persecution of his fellow-religionists. "It is not unlikely that in this (as in all previous persecutions, and often afterwards) the fanatical Jews, enraged by the rapid progress of Christianity, and anxious to avert suspicion from themselves, stirred up the people against the hated Galilaeans, and that the heathen Romans fell with double fury on these supposed half Jews, disowned by their own strange brethren."
The Jews caused trouble in Judaea and then in the empire at large, they fell in the esteem of the gentiles. They were not popular among the Roman mob because they were reputed to be so aloof that they would not even give anyone directions, if asked.
The most unfortunate in this period was Palestine, where the ancient and venerable nation brought upon itself unspeakable suffering and destruction. Jerusalem was razed to the ground, The temple burned, and not one stone was left upon another. The history of the Jewish wars records that the only way to deal with the "Jewish problem" in Palestine was to get rid of the Jews - which is exactly what the Emperor did, instigating the Diaspora.
At last, in May, A.D. 66, under the last procurator, Gessius Florus, a wicked and cruel tyrant who, as Josephus says, was placed as a hangman over evil-doers, an organized rebellion broke out against the Romans, at the same time a terrible civil war started between different parties of the revelers themselves, especially between the Zealots, and the Moderates, or the Radicals and Conservatives. The Zealots took forcible possession of the city and the temple and introduced a reign of terror. After a siege of five months the entire city was in the hands of the victors. The number of the Jews slain during the siege, is stated by Josephus at the enormous and probably exaggerated figure of 1 million and 1 hundred thousand. Eleven thousand perished from starvation shortly after the close of the siege. Ninety-seven thousand were carried captive and sold into slavery, or sent to the mines, or sacrificed in the gladiatorial shows at Caesarea, Berytus, Antioch, and other cities.
The body of my brother's son
Stood by me, knee to knee:
The body and I pulled at one rope,
But he said nought to me.
I thought that was interesting, would you refer to your nephew as the body of my brother's son? That kind of makes it more....distant and horrible, to me.
The Dore engravings, here, by the way, still show the Mariner with the bird around his neck in these scenes and in sleeping and of course that's not correct. Wonder why he did that?
I'm a little confused by the last two spirits, tho, what penance has the Mariner done? What IS penance and when did he do it?
Cap'n Grape Harvest
In Chinese mythology, Ch'ang O is the moon goddess celebrated in poems
and novels. She gave birth to 12 moons,
11 of which somehow disappeared.
In another legend she is called the wife of Hou I;
she fled to the moon when he discovered
she had stolen the pills of immortality
given to him by the gods.
Each year Ch'ang O's flight to the moon is celebrated
with the Mid-Autumn Festival. Cakes are eaten
and shared with friends and neighbors; many go outdoors
to look for the resemblance of a toad on the surface
of the moon. According to one account, Ch'ang O was changed into a toad.
HARVEST MOON, A CHINESE MYTH
William T. Frost
Yellow orange rising, dyeing the tides
pregnant in diffusion through the dull sacs
stretch-marked between the horizon's red guides.
Ch'ang O lives; climbing her stair she contracts.
It is the 15th., 9-month lunar node
we eat our round moon cake, lie on our backs
and watch the silver outline of the toad.
Technically, a Captain cannot give an Admiral an order. However, if the
Captain has Operational Control of the fleet, he may be empowered with
positional authority and have the right to do so under certain wartime
conditions. A fairly nebulous answer, I'm sure, but my expertise lies
See, and do not treat this as a joke please as Lt. Rhodes was very good to answer me in a serious way.
Please do not make me go on over to that other ship by declaring a war Oh Captain, my Captain. Admiral Fop (perhaps the moon as made a strip down me back)
"The Mariner's crime, symbolized by the shooting of the good-luck bird, was his failure to consider the consequences of his actions. Wasn't everything after the shooting of the albatross a reminder of his misdeeds and his human failings? He undergoes all the nightmares of remorse and I can't distinguish between his dreams and the reality of events which affected not only him but all his fellow creatures. Despite his "rescue" and spiritual rehabilitation he will never outlive his deed, and his lifelong penance will be the constant need to retell it."
" Repentance, penitence- 1699.
The sacramental ordinance in which remission of sins is received by a penitant througt the absolution of a priest, the necessary parts being contrition, confesion, satisfaction, and absolution.
The performance of some act of self-mortification or submission to some penalty, as an expression of penitence; penitential discipline or observance, in Eccl. use such discipline or observance officially imposed by a priest after confession. Temopral punsihment for sin."
but....oops, here at the very bottom I see: "Punishment-1769"
OOPS! So it may be after all that the word "penance" meant punishment newly in 1769, and thus Coleridge considered what the Mariner was going thru punishment. Worse to stay alive than to die?
I do note one spot where the Mariner says and yet I could not die.
And more anon
In 1817 also appears the pedantic seventeenth- century narrative voice of the prose glossist reinforcing the poem's Christian causal underpinning of the otherwise mysterious events of the voyage, judging, for example, the "spell" or trance, of the Mariner as a "curse," or cross of guilt suffered by him for killing the albatross and expiable through penitential suffering.
[Thus]... is imprinted the record of Coleridge's ideological development, artistic perceptions and psychoreligious anxieties for those years. He is, in effect, co-opting successive versions of his self, while never quite effacing the trace of old personas and viewpoints.
In its palimpsest the poem thus encodes prototypically the disguised signatures of the protean Coleridge: delver in old pre-Christian texts, acolyte of nature, hermeneutic formalist, philologist, Broad Church apologist, wandering Old Navigator, sophisticated balladeer-poet, literary theorist and critic."
She compares the Mariner's Journey as a sort of Dante-like "descent into Hell, followed by an uphill journey through a purgatorial realm of expiation. But there emphatically is no Paradise--nor is there the familiar conclusion to more earthly comedies: marriage. The Mariner is trapped in a purgatory of repetition compulsion, while his chosen interlocutor, the Wedding Guest, is not exactly edified by the tale ('He went like one that hath been stunned/ And as of sense forlorn.'). It seems that the Mariner has had an effect: 'A sadder and a wiser man/ He rose the morrow morn,' but it is one that evades ordinary modes of linguistic communication.
The 'meaning' of the Mariner's tale is experience first as physical sensation that only belatedy finds expression as intellectual response.
The Mariner remains homeless and companionless; the Wedding Guest misses the wedding."
The albatross...binds inseparably together the three sructural principles of the poem -- the voyage, and the supernatural machinery, and the unfolding cycle of the deed¹s results. (p. 201)
(Pages 271-272) The last stanza of each of the first six parts ... marks a step in the evolution of the action. ...
Part I: ...and with my bow/ I shot the Albatross. [There is the initial act.]
Part II: ...... instead of the Cross the Albatross Around my neck was hung. [And the consequences first attach themselves to the transgressor.]
Part III: ...Four times fifty living men
They dropped down one by one ...
And every soul, it passed me by
Like the whiz of my cross-bow!
[The consequences pass by the doer of the deed, and fall upon his shipmates. And now ³Life-in-Death begins her work upon the Mariner,² till at last the turning-point of the action comes:]
Oh happy living things! no tongue
A spring of love gushed from my heart
And I blessed them unaware.
Sure my kind saint took pity on me
And I blessed them unaware.
The self-same moment I could pray
And from my neck so free
The Albatross fell off and sank
Like lead into the sea.
[And so the burden of the transgression falls. But its results march on relentlessly.]
The other was a softer voice,
As soft as honey-dew.
Quoth he, ³The man has penance done,
And penance more will do.
[But the voyage at least has a destined end, and with the Hermit¹s entrance a new note is heard:]"
The Road to Xanadu is not a critical nor a biographical work. It's an examination of the incredible amount of source material tucked away in Coleridge's mind, and also in his notebooks, from his vast reading on many subjects. Lowes demonstrates how -- so to speak -- the artist draws on memory's storehouse, selecting and reshaping what he finds and using it to create something new.
Lowes, incidentally, doesn't at all disregard the moral aspect of the tale.