Saturday, 27 February 2010

Rime of the Ancient Mariner

"Water, water, everywhere/Nor any drop to drink". The lines have been used so often it's become a joke, but they come from Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the classic goth horror poem. Please read THIS article here.

"Ahead of its time , a tale of dark obsession", writes Duncan Wu. "There is something deeply primitive about the itinerant sea-dog in the poem. What could be more so than a man who commits a thoughtless act only to be punished for it eternally? “'With my crossbow/I shot the albatross,' he says, giving no explanation. How often do we commit thoughtless acts we later regret? Coleridge’s insight is that sometimes we can neither know nor explain why we behave as we do. We act and then suffer the consequences. "

See what I mean? Excellent, evocative writing. I was so fired up I looked up the South Bank staging which is on tonight and Sunday. Alas, these days the South Bank site is worse than ever but finally I found out that it's an adaptation with music, props, cars and kids. Probably a lot of fun but I'm put off by someone's comment that those who don't go should be "despised". So I won't go. But Wu's article mentions a new biography of Coleridge. Is it William Christie's Samuel Taylor Coleridge : a Literary Life (2009)? If Duncan Wu writes about that, I'd love to read it.

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