By: Katherine Hernandez
To say that music is not a form of romantic poetry would be one of the greatest injustices to not only music but to poetry itself. For decades music has been used as a means to release emotions, express deep-rooted feelings for others and expose the world to love ballads and struggles we all seem to face in our lives. In fact, music can be deemed as one of the things that keep us alive, it is our modern form of storytelling. The purest form of romantic poetry to exist. R&B in itself is regarded as the expressing of feelings through rhythm and beat, it is the name itself. Iron Maiden’s take on the Romantic poem “The Rime of The Ancient Mariner” elevated the form of romanticism that is expressed in the poem.
Iron Maiden does an excellent way of portraying the rhyme and rhythm that is shown in the original poem. Through the use of instruments, the band is able to focus more on the feeling of dread that is expressed in the poem. They focus on the dark themes of death and loss and the way the Mariner suffered while telling his story, whole in the poem there is light use of comedy at times by the Coleridge, the song demonstrates the severity and the heaviness the poem actually carries.
Both of these works play off of each other, evoking the notion of the human experience of focusing and relying on the expressions of one’s own emotions. In fact, music, especially rock music in the ’60s through the ’80s had a huge emphasis on the anthropocentric. It is all about the way that the artist feels, the way in which everything feels as if it is “now or never” The poem demonstrates this perfectly because, despite the fact that there is a lot of characters involved in Coleridge romantic poem, the sole foci’s is the feeling the Mariner had throughout the retelling of his story. Iron Masinde is able to encompass that feeling towards its audience through the song because as a listener it feels as if you are listening to that story as well. The story of a man who suffers and wants the world to know.
Iron Maiden’s interpretation of this poem allows the romanticism era to remain alive. It showcases the emotions Coleridge was portraying and the lead singer is able to display them on a full screen. The music becomes the silver platter of the lyric’s in a way that the emotion is demonstrated in such a way that it helps bring the poem to life. While in the poem many of the death references used are for metaphorical reasons, the band uses these references as a way to demonstrate the darkness that the words carry and thus placing this dark imagery at the forefront of their song rendition.
Iron Maiden is a prime example of romantic poetry evolving through time. Music is societies modern way of placing emotions on full display, spewing of one’s experiences and questioning the world and all of its mishaps. The perfect concoction of romantic poetry and the heavy metal version of Samuel Taylor Coleridge “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ breathes life into our new form of romantic poetry; music.