In my opinion Iron Maiden’s heavy metal version of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” can very much be considered a form of Romantic poetry.
Modern day societies seem to identify “romance” as something that involves physical affection and outward and obvious displays of love and while I think all of that is great I don’t believe it is the only way to communicate romance.
It could be because of the modern elements but I definitely felt more “moved” by Iron Maiden’s heavy metal version as opposed to Coleridge’s written version. While both essentially tell the same story I felt that the beat attached to the poem in the metal version gave it a feeling of urgency and severity that really resonates with the tone of the poem. The cool thing, for me anyway, was that the poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” was a story within a story and the musical elements added by I.M. really added that much depth to what was already happening in the poem – the music feels like an extra character sitting by as an observer. A witness/companion to the story within a story. (I love the layers!)
Another thing that I noticed that I thought was kind of cool was the willingness to bend the rules of poetry. I’ve always felt that in order for something to be classified as poetry it has to meet certain qualifications but in both of these poetic instances the performers are willing to bend the rules. The writer of the poem (Coleridge) and the performer of the music (Iron Maden) are willing and able to effectively communicate their poetry while refusing to adhere to strict guidelines. One instance of this that can be found in both translations was the practice of making some syllables slightly longer to match the patterns they were trying to follow. While it seems that Coleridge stuck much closer to a rhythmic pattern both him and Iron Madden sort of “warped” the rules of rhythm to fit to their needs of their individual expressions.
It’s safe to say that romance can also be “warped” to fit our needs. So can poetry and so can anything really. Heavy guitar riffs and screaming into a microphone doesn’t make a poem any less of a poem – we get to make the rules. If we say it’s a poem then it’s a poem and that in and of itself is Romantic.