Metal Rock and Poetry

After listening to Iron Maiden’s version of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, I believe that it does a good job at portraying the poetry. At first, I did not enjoy listening to Iron Maiden because I am not into their genre of music. It is difficult to define romantic poetry as one certain thing. Heavy metal can be seen as another form of romantic poetry. It portrays emotions and feelings in a different way.

The heavy metal rock music went along with the poem when it introduced the men and the Mariner to a frigid land that was covered in “mist and snow” where the snow “cracked and growled, and roared and howled”. The music brought to life of the uncertainty the men and the Mariner were going through. The loudness of rock portrayed their surrounding and the environment they were in. The snowy condition was described well because the way the snow roared and howled is paired well with the loudness and heaviness of rock. The transition of heavy metal rock to soft, creepy sounding music led to the slow foreshadowing of the men being cursed.

“One after one, by the star-dogged Moon,

Too quick for groan or sigh,

Each turned his face with a ghastly pang,

And cursed me with his eye.

Four times fifty living men,

(And I heard nor sigh nor groan)

With heavy thump, a lifeless lump,

They dropped down one by one.”

At the 5:52 mark in the song, he goes off course and reads a part of the poem instead. I feel that by doing this, there is a sense of connectivity to the actual poem even if that part lasted for less than a minute. After the two verses were read in the song, there is a two minute gap before the singing starts again. This silence lets us process what has just happened. The men have just been cursed. When the singer said “they dropped down one by one” and leaves us hanging with only music, we wait in anticipation wondering what’s going to happen next. It causes our minds to think of scenarios that are to come after. And when he starts to sing again, we come to realize that the curse still lives on.

-Naomi Van

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3 thoughts on “Metal Rock and Poetry

  1. I liked the way you emphasized the way the song brings to life the environment of the poem. This is a very interesting point that I think can be expanded broadly. This blog post can be improved with textual evidence from the poem and song to strengthen your claim.

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  2. One of the original ideas in this post is that the music brought to life the story of the mariner and their situation. I thought it was interesting that you saw the slow music as foreshadowing the curse of the tale, I completely overlooked that part. I liked that you focused on the musical tone, but would have liked to see more analysis of the textual evidence.
    -Nancy Sanchez

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  3. Naomi, your post is easy to understand thanks to your clear interpretations. I understand your point of view because I feel the same way. Perhaps you can use more textual evidence from the poem to strengthen your claim as well.
    -Dario Lomeli (2/3)

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