Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ancient Mariner

I made a larger version of this to print for my wall after my recent re-reading of Coleridge's poem. I thought it would serve as a reminder to be gentle and kind in my dealings with others and the world around me.  (Bird image from The Graphics Fairy.)

Coleridge's poem Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner has always been one of my favorites.  My father recited bits and pieces of it to me throughout my childhood.  When I got older and finally sat down and read it through, I was impressed by its beauty as well as the thoughts and values expressed by it.

The Romantic movement in literature and art, with its emphasis on nature, appeals to me greatly.  Coleridge's poem ties the idea of the sacredness of nature to an almost medieval version of Christianity with saints and hermits and prayers to the Virgin Mary.  Harmony with nature and respect for it are equated with goodness.  It is also a tale of redemption in a way.  Through his experiences and the penance that follows them, the mariner not only redeems himself, but comes to have a greater understanding and love of nature.

The poem at Project Gutenberg

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