Ancient Mariner

Ancient Mariner

"Look out Below!" - Craaack! About 15 Men
and women turn their glances toward the sky, and see a large, perhaps 100
feet, tree falling to the ground. As the tree hits the solid earth, everything
grows very quiet. All look at the lumberjack, who killed this tree, and
find him weeping in sorrow. This situation is not uncommon when dealing
with Nature. Nature, as simple as it seems to some, generates great power.

This power is sent to us, as nature forgives only after a physical, emotional,
and spiritual suffering. "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" helps implement
all these teachings together. In current times, this power continues to
teach us of forgiveness.

With physical suffering, the power of nature
shows us forgiveness many ways. In the story, the mariner betrays nature:

"I shot the Albatross!" This action against nature is rather extreme, for
he takes lightly to this thought of death. The Albatross, as a representative
of nature, means nothing to the Mariner. These thoughts are quickly changed,
though, as Nature begins to start the penance leading towards forgiveness
- "Water, water, everywhere nor any drop to drink." When "the mariner begins
to find his salvation when he begins to look on the 'slimy things' as creatures
of strange beauty" (Fraser 203), he understands the Albatross was a symbol
of nature and he realized what he had done wrong. The mariner is forgiven
after sufficient penance - "We could not speak" - is performed by Nature.

Nature shows us more strength as we realize that people of today often
can not forgive someone who has shot or killed another person.

At a spiritual level, Nature's power can
decide if we will live, or be condemned. Nature is capable of presenting"innermost suffering" (Coburn 33) upon people. The mariner's suffering
included having his "soul in agony" soon afterwards. After attempts at
prayer and realization of what he has done - "I looked to heaven and tried
to pray", his penance to forgiveness begins spiritually. The mariner releases
the weight of the crime greatly at the "moment he could pray". "The albatross
around the mariner's neck was an emblem of an inner state" (Fraser 204),
as it "fell off and sank", the mariner was forgiven. Guilt follows many
of us throughout our lives today as we do brash things and taunt with Nature.

Yet with these brash things we do, Nature continues to forgive us.

At an emotional level, our emotions are
important factors for pennance from Nature. The mariner took for granted
the love Nature had for him. All around his ship, he witnessed "slimy things
did crawl with legs upon the slimy sea" and he questioned "the curse in
the Dead man's eyes". This shows his contempt for the creatures that Nature
provides for all of us. The mariner begins to find his salvation when he"begins to look on the 'slimy things' as creatures of strange beauty" (Coburn

34). The mariner's experience represents a "renewal of the impulse of love
towards other living things." (Fraser 206). Even Today, many people look
upon Nature in a similar way as that of the Mariner, not loving it. But

Nature always forgives those people.

Nature is a powerful element. Using it's
physical, spiritual and emotional leveled powers, it can help teach us
to focus on life and love. Today, nature is present all around us as living
animals. These animals, when taken care of properly, return the care as
love and help each of us to live long lives because of it. Love is an important
aspect in human life, without it we can die lonely. With love, we die with
all that is around us.


Fraser, G.S. A Short History of English

Poetry. Barnes & Noble Books. Totowa, New Jersey.

Coburn, Kathleen. Coleridge. Prentice-Hall

Inc. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.