“The Rime Of Ancient Mariner” is one of the world’s masterpiece, composed by S.T Coleridge, a great and dominating poet of 19th century. He is also known as the poet of romantic age. His other major poems are ‘Kubla Khan’, ‘Dejection On Ode’ and Christabel. ‘The Rime Of Ancient Mariner’ have been composed in lyrical ballads in 1798. Lyrical ballads was composed by the collaboration of Wordsworth and Coleridge in which 19 poems have been written by Wordsworth and last four have been written by Coleridge. No English poet except Shakespeare has ever made the organic use of supernatural elements as S.T Coleridge used. Beside ‘The Rime Of Ancient Mariner’, Kubla Khan and Christabel are the finest specimens of Coleridge’s use of the supernatural elements. The narrative and that descriptive details are so fused that one can see at once Coleridge’s emotion as a lyrical poet.
One can read the poem with wonder and melody, it is difficult to criticize such poem. Though the poem under discussion introduces us about a supernatural realm, of phantom ship, a crew of dead men, the overhanging curse of the albatross, the polar spirit and the manager to create a sense of absolute reality.
The poem begins with the mention of the mariner who, holding the wedding guests with his skinny hands and describing the story to him. The wedding guest despite having no desire to listen to his story, he sat on a stone to listen to his story attentively. His story is extremely frightening so the wedding guest does not want to listen to what he is describing but still he has to listen his story because the mariner has held him “with his skinny hands”.
Further with the 35th stanza the tone of the poem has changed from sorrow to happy one.
“The bride hath paced into the hall, Red as a rose is she”.
Now the bride is as red as a rose. It seems that she is the queen of that moment.
In 45th and 50th stanzas the Mariner told the wedding guest how the ship was driven away by the tyrannous and strong storm towards the south pole. And now there came both mist and snow. So the atmosphere of the south pole ‘grew wondrous cold’. They were as green as Emerald. There were neither man nor beasts. That is why all the men in the ship were fearful.
In 65th stanza the reference of an Albatross has been given. It is probably the agent sent by God to saviour them from this dangerous situation. That is why it has been called a Christian soul. It flew round and round to the ship to mitigate the fury of the tyrannous and strong storm. But unfortunately the Mariner are shot the pious bird of good omen, so they faced hardships during their journey.
In the succeeding stanza the reference of the pilot boat has been given. When the pilot-boat approaches the mysterious ship, the mysterious ship immediately sinks but however the Mariner is rescued by the hermit who is sitting in the boat. Therefore he goes from place to place repeating the story of his agonising experience to those worthy minded people who needs to learn the lesson and he says he prayed well, who loved well both men and birds and beast.
Meter, melody, rhyme, Mechanism of the poem. Etc.
The predominant stanza form used in this poem is a four line stanza of which the first and the third line are tetrameters and the second and the 4th line tri-meters.