The Time of the Ancient Immigrant

It is an ancient immigrant,

Being in scared of being stopped and being attacked,

With a fearful gaze, he asks,

When will it happen to me?

The streets are wide and busy,

He wonders when it will be his time,

Some eyes meet and conversations start,

They understand each other’s misfortune.

He then sits down on the bus stop,

Starts talking about his misery,

The person next to him listens,

The ancient immigrant start sobbing.

The person next to him does nothing but agrees,

“I’m tired of all the racism and discrimination!” he screams.

The person next to him just walks away,

They were scared of being the center of attention.

“I came to the Unites States for a better life for me and my family!

Why am I not being helped? Why am I being treated like a slave?

Just because I have no citizenship, why do I have to suffer?

Before coming here, I thought that the American Dream was really true,

He thinks to himself.

“I walk from home to this bus stop,

Just to work in a place that pays me nothing,

15 cents for a shirt that is sold for hundreds of dollars in big stores,

Being in the fields, breaking our backs.”

Every day the sun goes up,

Hoping for changes to occur,

Waiting to feel a little bit of the American Dream,

However, every day seems the same.

Racism and hate crime always occurring,

Occurring in front, in the back on the side,

Miles away, everywhere.

He starts sobbing again.

Remembering all the jobs he has done as he walks,

 The streets full of street vendors,

Being arrested and hurt because of the “crime” of selling.

He realizes this country is full of misery.

Walking more, he then starts thinking about the place he left,

He misses his culture, it seems he has forgotten about it,

Wanting to go back, because even if he was poor,

Home was home and his identity.

As he walked, time and space didn’t matter,

He was far from “home” and was already really late,

He goes back from where he came from,

Once again thinking how miserable he feels.

It’s late at night, as he sees red, white and blue,

He hides his face and his heart starts racing,

The ancient immigrant starts laughing,

Shouldn’t I be scared of criminals?

 He gets home, hoping for better news,

Trying to forget the outside he turns on the TV,  

Just as he sits down, he hears “Trump”,

And again all the fear and melancholy comes back.

“Why can you just leave us alone!” he screams.

“We are not criminals, we are just trying to survive!”

“Stop blaming us for everything that happens!”

The ancient immigrant, just walks away and goes to sleep,

 Because that’s the only way, to numb his pain.

Hoping for the next morning for changes to occur.

I decided to make my parody based on “The Ancient Mariner” which focuses on the still occurring events of the life of many immigrants who reside in the United States. As I can relate to the topic itself, I was able to put in personal experiences, as well as experiences within my community. My parody talks about the life of an immigrant who is “illegal” and the fears as he walks through the streets plus the jobs they are mostly obliged to do in order to survive, and how he is willing to put up with it. The ancient immigrant in this case also becomes a symbol that represents the daily life and trauma many others feel. I decided to change the flow and the complex language of the poem to a more “to the point” type of language. The reason I did this was because we live a modern day, where easy and to the point literature is being appreciated and read more. Unlike the original version by Coleridge, the ancient immigrant seems to have an audience within the poem, but we also become his audience as we are able to read what he is feeling and thinking. At the same time, the end of my parody, does not end with the same message of Coleridge, but ends more in a melancholic mood. I made this decision upon where we stand now in modern life, where even though we hope for the best the next day, nothing seems to changing, everything seems to be going to the worst. People have also given up hope.

Hermelinda Ralac

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The Rime of the Stubborn Procrastinator

It is a stubborn procrastinator

Of course, he is up late

Beard overgrown, hair a mess he looks up

Why does he stay up so late, why take the bait.

 

The classroom’ doors are spread wide open

My test is to be turned in

A line forms to turn in papers

The stubborn procrastinator walks in, his paper next of kin.

 

In his crusty, bloodshot eye he holds…

The rest of the class go about their day

No one notices, no one cares of the message he beholds

But you, you take a look into those eyes that have turned glazed

 

The student was excited, glee filled his eyes

One chapter ended and a new one was about to begin

School hasn’t  been a breeze for him, not so easy

Being brought up with good morals, patience and discipline.

 

Sacrifice and determination got him here from high school to university

He was no strangers to late nights, even then

A heavy curse inflicted on him, where all his work is done last second

And now the curse is back, it is here again.

 

The constant view into his eyes, piercing like mirrors

All of a sudden, you become him

And you remember all of the past events that led you there.

Clear as day, even at night, the picture is not so dim.

 

And now the RESEARCH – PAPER  came, and he

Was weak-willed he knew it was going to take a night long.

He was struck no desire to write anytime before the night before

And waited for the day to come along, how wrong.

 

The stubbornness was here, the stubbornness was there,

The stubbornness was all around:

It cracked and hissed, and growled and kissed

Like roots growing in the ground

 

With stubbornness breeds ignorance, and impotence

There is time for the gym, time for a few youtube videos

Even time for some video games, and Netflix

Look upon this throne of disruptions he bestows.

 

At length did cross a DISTRACTION for our little student

Through the nothingness it came out, reaching out towards them

As if it had been a hand trying to grab our little student

We cursed it, yet became enthralled by it’s over looming presence.

 

Our direction became misguided, our attention diverted from the research paper

Now it was going towards the DISTRACTION and we were falling headfirst

In our heads we knew that we would write the paper, just not now

First comes the distraction, then the paper, but now quench this thirst.

 

I was having fun, completely ignoring my paper.

It was always on my mind, leeching onto the back of my brain

I knew I had to stop soon, opportunities like this would be seldom

Sweat wiped my eyes, like rain

 

‘God save me, STUBBORN PROCRASTINATOR!

From the disruptions that plague universities

Why thou look anywhere else but myself?

I shot the DISTRACTION

 

I looked upon the ticking time

And my eyes darted from side to side

I looked upon my research paper

With nothing done I knew I was in for a ride

 

Yet I finished of course, on time.

I wear this curse on my neck

Its me in my prime

I need to look at myself, give myself a good check

Reflection: Like many others I assume, I wanted to modernize Wordsworth’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”. I settled for my version to captivate not only a modern audience, but an immediate audience. This is a poem that many students, including myself can relate to. It has to deal with the typical university student who procrastinates their assignments last second.

I gave the ‘Stubborn Procrastinator’ a persona, I gave it a picture people can see. While many may not immediately want to be compared to someone as ugly as that, they will later see that they aren’t that different. I feel that if I gave the ‘Stubborn Procrastinator’ it gave the poem a sense of immediacy, and made it almost more intimate, There is a character we can connect the poem right from the beginning. There is another unspoken character who observes the procrastinator in the classroom, and not much is given about this character, because it’s supposed to be in the perspective of the reader. Just like the reader, this unspoken character looks at the ‘Stubborn Procrastinator’s” eyes and then observes their perspective. The whole point was to blur the lines between whose perspectives we were switching from and to. Both the unspoken person, and the ‘Stubborn Procrastinator” are supposed to be the same person. With, hopefully, the reader finding themselves part of it too. The poem was to highlight just the number of students who are indeed procrastinators themselves, and meant to highlight their struggles in the university setting. In a parody attempt there are stanzas that are very similar to Wordsworth’s own lines, in order to see the connection in both poems. This poem is a parody, the Albatross instead of leading towards clearer waters, instead leads our reader towards more distractions. And while death isn’t present, we know from Wordsworth Version that it is coming, and while it’s not here, time is the lurking danger. We know it’s bound to come, and it will always affect our protagonist in their journey to finish at the last second.

  • Robert Morales

The Rime of Romanticism

Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” apart from telling a fantastically ghostly tale, is an English ballad. When one thinks of ballads, they think of catchy pop music, but in the realm of poetry is seen more so as a long narrative, or story, told through a poem. Thus, this poem was ready for the, shall we say, ‘musical taking’, or adaptation. The content of the poem really does belong more so in popular culture. One can read the poem and think, it is a long drawn out poem of the Mariners unfortunate voyage. However, if one pays attention to popular culture, this poem has influenced so many works, from Pirates of the Caribbean, to music like, Iron Maiden’s adaptation of the poem. The Mariner is a sad and older man who goes around the world telling his tale, to make it known. Iron Maiden’s adaptation than can be accepted as an extension of the Mariner telling his tale, it exceedingly makes sense in my mind.

As to whether it is romantic literature, I vehemently believe that it is. In “Lyrical Ballads”, William Wordsworth states, “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.”. Now, it could be argued that under this definition of poetry by the well-known romantic poet, most music could be placed under the genre. Iron Maiden’s adaptation is simply the retelling of the Mariner’s emotional voyage and expressing their own overflow of powerful feelings. Thus, it can be said in conclusion, that Iron Maiden’s retelling of romantic poetry, is an expression of  their emotion, and thus romantic within itself.

Sabrina Vazquez

A Journey of the Mariner’s Inner World

Iron Maiden’s heavy metal version of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is, to my own opinion, very much like Romantic poetry. Romantic poetry is often characterized as a focus on the writer or narrator’s emotions and inner world and a celebration of nature, beauty, and imagination. Iron Maiden doesn’t derive away from these specific characteristics in their song. More than anything, they emphasize on these sections of the poem for their song to create a more expressive response from their listeners and to retain the central message of the poem: to love all of God’s creatures and creations.

Of course, Iron Maiden had to take some creative decision making to fit the poem into the rhythmic beat of a rock song. In the opening lines of Iron Maiden’s song, “Hear the Rime of the Ancient Mariner. See his eye as he stops one of three”, is incredibly different from how Coleridge opens his own poem, “It is an ancient Mariner, And he stoppeth one of three.” Of course, Iron Maiden isn’t going to go word-by-word of Coleridge’s poem in a song, they had to change the lyrics, but Iron Maiden’s song keeps the crucial aspects of the poem to express to listeners the severity of the Mariner’s action and the rough and treacherous journey the Mariner and the crewman took. After meeting with death, the song changes tune and only a guitar is heard with a low voice from the singer describing the deaths of the crewman that were affected by the curse. “With a heavy thump, a lifeless lump, they dropped one by one.” This section of the song in its tune is expressing sorrow and grief which reflect back to the lyrics. The song overall is focusing on the narrator’s emotions and how not only what it feels like, but what it sounds like.

The closing remarks of the songs prove that it’s like a Romantic poem as it expressed a celebration of nature, in a darker and gloomier way compared traditional Romantic poetry. “To teach God’s word by his own example, that we must love all things that God made.” The song does almost everything like Romantic poetry but with a darker twist. Therefore, it can be considered Romantic poetry. It expresses a lesson to love nature and see its beauty and the 13-minute song is a journey of both feelings and listening to the Mariner’s inner world.

-Abe Alvarez

Romantic Poetry, Feat. Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden’s rock-and-role rendition of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner keeps this piece of work as classic romantic poetry by keeping the original words and feeling enveloped into it. The song holds a lot of imagery, as well as metaphors to help the listener truly imagine the scene set by Coleridge’s poem.

While Iron Maiden had made the poem into a much more rough-sounding version of the original, it still kept the meaning as a romantic poem, focusing on the hardships of people’s lives instead of the happiness in them. The rock-and-roll version seemed to accentuate this pain that humans go through instead of dull it, as can be seen in the line “The many men, so beautiful! And they all dead did lie.”

Some students and other listeners may disagree that Iron Maiden’s version of Coleridge’s song keeps the poem as a piece of romantic poetry based on the tone that it sets; however, I believe that the deep vibe pulls listeners into this 13-minute song and helps them to imagine the poem in a stronger light.

-Jody Omlin

Brutal Legend: “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” Rocks On For Ages

Brutal LegendThe way in which the musical composition compliments the retelling of “The Ancient Mariner” is one of the most well executed examples of transcribing a work of poetry into a masterpiece of Heavy Metal, One that definitely follows the methodology of Romanticism (although not traditionally). For the most part, the way in which the poem is read can be hard to rework into a musical format, seeing how the poem does not stay consistent in how it delivers its rhymes; For example, in one stanza, it can go “A B C B” and the next it goes “A B C C B” or “A B C B D B”. I think the way in which Iron Maiden translates it, in which most of the verses go for the classic “A B A B” makes it more palatable than trying to shove the original text in its entirety into a song that might not ring melodically into the ears of the audience.

It is also important to take a look at who is particularly telling the tale of the Mariner. In the original text, it is the Mariner himself who had lived through the event which he describes to a random passerby who is on his way to a wedding. Now, the fact that the listener is going to a wedding is not important, but the fact that he is just a regular individual who has to be told by the cursed fellow due to his belief in the need to tell his truth adds to the importance of making his victims of his storytelling into “a sadder and wiser man.” However, when you get into the speaker/singer of Iron Maiden, he is not retelling the story from his point of view but rather passionately telling the story of the Mariner from the text, as we hear the singer never refer to himself as the Mariner. This creates a bit of a disconnect from the text that can’t be recaptured; and yet, the lyrical nature of the composition does add an epic nature to the tale of the Mariner that was not originally there within the text, as it could easily be read as a Shel Silverstein poem in the right delivery.

The tone plays a major part in both interpretations, whereas the original text has one that is foreboding and conscientious of its ultimate message and the Iron Maiden single switches from epic fantastical legend to ghost story to brutal legend of the ultimate rock-itude in the matter of fifteen minutes. In the original text, it works as it was not ultimately meant to be a song so it comes off very memorable due to the fact the pauses within the text are so lifelike by themselves that the story is able to be more digestible and lasts longer in the minds of the reader. In the Iron Maiden track, its loud and fast and heavy, the guitar riffs screeching like the spirits and the bass keeping the blood pumping, the drums thundering in the back so loud it’s impossible to ignore the tale of the Mariner. It ultimately keeps the audience invested as the song has so many hooks both lyrically and instrumentally.

Ultimately, I believe that the Iron Maiden Interpretation is definitely an embodiment of Romantic poetry as it is full of passion and rhythm in a way that completely engrosses the audience; just as how Romantic art draws the view in with its beautiful depictions of the subject, music is able to move the soul in a manner that no other artistic medium can replicate: it can rock on in the minds of listeners for generations as long as it kicks ass. And this track is the Brutal Legend of Kick-Assery.

-Alejandro Joseph Serrano

This Is Just A Tribute

Tania De Lira-Miranda

Image result for iron maiden rime of the ancient mariner

Romanticism, a very popular genre of both literature and art, is not what the name might suggest. The name seems to imply that the genre is about love and romance between characters and/or people. What the genre is really about is either one of two things. The first is about nature and how it should be revered due to its qualities and the second is about expressed emotion. So based on these two explanations about Romanticism, I would say that Iron Maiden’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is like Romantic poetry.

The Iron Maiden song can be considered a homage to the poem as it is basically a musical version of the poem. Using direct lines from the poem, the song has many instances of the rhythmic beat, and imagery. The poem has almost a sad and dark atmosphere surrounding it just like the story of the Mariner and the song follows this with its beat. In the beginning, the song almost has an upbeat but this changes as the beat and tempo become faster when the crew starts dying and then the tempo slows down like it’s leading up to the upbeat again when the song is about to end and when the plot talks about the wedding guest again. Another thing that makes the song be like Romantic poetry is the imagery it discusses. Since the song uses either uses direct quotes at times or references events that happened in the poem, the imagery the poem has is translated nicely to the song. An example of this would be “The naked hulk alongside came, / And the twain were casting dice; / ‘The game is done! I’ve won! I’ve won!’ / Quoth she, and whistles thrice” from the poem and “Death and she life in death / They throw their dice for the crew / She wins the mariner and he belongs to her now” from the song. Though using different words, Iron Maiden still has the same image behind these lyrics: Death won the lives of the Mariner’s crew members while Life-In-Death won the life of the Mariner and this is an important part of the poem as this is when the Mariner learns a lesson. By keeping the same images Samuel Taylor Coleridge was trying to convey, his messages can still be seen in the song even though it is through a different medium and in turn, this makes the song still be just as impactful as the poem was which is what Samuel Taylor Coleridge probably would have wanted.

 

Rhythm Schism

While Iron Maiden’s musical interpretation of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” attempts to pay homage to the romantic poetry, in terms of poetic form, much is lost. Coleridge’s ballad utilizes a strict adherence to the iambic tetrameter/trimeter form, with ABAB rhyme scheme. The artistic liberty with which Iron Maiden renders the song, not only changes the rhythmic beat to stressed/unstressed/stressed (cretic trisyllabic foot(?)), but the rhyme scheme is sporadic or in some instances, completely absent. Evidently the song uses triplet musical rhythmic structure as the primary melody for the song, changing the disyllabic nature of the original poem.

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In addition to these dissimilarities, the song features a break down of three parts, paralleling the poem in terms of sections, but instead using them as an exposition of the beginning melody, an interlude, and finally a recapitulation of the melody and lyrics from the song’s exposition. This significantly augments the poem because in terms of structure, it is unchanging; Iron Maiden’s interpretive stance establishes a melody, moves into a morose instrumental interlude, and then reaffirms the introductory melody, though changing the lyrics and some musical elements.

If one is to forgo the form and focus on the content of the song, I do not think it is a bad interpretation, and pays adequate honor to the poem in terms of tone, plot, lyrical speaker, and imagery. Much of the song’s lyrics takes verses verbatim, or abridges them for more palatable phrasing. That is to say that Iron Maiden changes the lyrics of the song to fit their musical rhythm and to speed up the plot in general. I actually enjoyed the cretic trisyllabic foot, paired with rhythm guitar riff triplets, because it added an element of anxiety within the tone of the song, which I believe best replicates the mood of the poem. Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of metal, but I can appreciate the effort of the musicians that created the song, and it is clear to see why Metal remains one of the most progressive genres in terms of melodic phrasing and lyrical content.

  • Sara Nuila-Chae

It’s all Poetic to me

I believe that Iron Maiden’s heavy metal version of “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is like Romantic poetry. In The Lyrical Ballads, Samuel Taylor Coleridge defines Romantic poetry as the spontaneous flow of powerful feelings. I believe the Iron Maiden version of it is just a longer version of the poem itself. By taking the poem and incorporating the lyrics into the song has made the song a work of literature. The song is an easier way for its audience to understand what some of the poem is incorporating and even an easier way for the audience to remember parts of the poem. By the repetitive images used throughout the video, are some examples of how this has become a literature of power. It now has the power to tell a story the way tattoos do; as we discussed in lecture. The placement of the images throughout the song have an effect on those who are viewing it. The placement of some of the images could even be said to have been pit there to focus on what the song doesn’t quote from the poem itself. The song is meant to be sung, not read as were poems written in Coleridge’s time period. During its time period, Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” was seen to be vulgar as heavy metal is also looked upon. The language used in the Iron Maiden version is also reflects the poetic verses of the eighteenth century. Some of the lyrics in the song are direct quotes with twists on them from Coleridge’s poem, like how we would add when quoting and adding interpretation ourselves. An example of this is in Coleridge’s poem where it states “The wedding guest stood still” and in the song, “One of the wedding guests stay here and listen to the nightmares of the sea”. Like poems, songs have specific meters that sound pleasant to the ears. With this comparison it is important to note how the song, like a poem, can also attribute different meaning to all those ears that have heard it. Each person could interpret it differently and it will have a lasting impact on all.

-Alina Cantero

Metal AF

~by Amber Loper

Image result for iron maiden rime of the ancient mariner

Romantic  poetry is not the first thing that comes to mind when someone thinks of heavy metal. Especially not Iron Maiden. However, poetry is at the core of all music with lyrics. Just as there are different genres of music, there are different styles of poetry, and even within those categories there are many many themes. Iron Maidens translation of Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner still holds the spirit of romantic poetry, but uses a different method of expressing the message. The most important thing is that between the translation of poem to song it doesn’t lose the message. In fact, it enhances the message, because Iron Maiden is retelling the tale of the ancient mariner, ironically, because the mariner is cursed to retell it for all time, making the singers of Iron Maiden the vessels of the ancient mariner’s tale.

In Coleridge’s poem, he generally sticks to an eight syllable-six syllable consecutive pattern, but it is more of a guideline than a rule, as he frequently adds extra syllables or takes them away wherever he pleases. When listening to Iron Maiden’s iteration, it’s clear that they do the same thing and they mix it into the song by elongating syllables or picking up the pace of the lyrics. Both methods help to add an emphasis or different effect that is more apparent than in a written poetry. Poetry is meant to be read allowed, not silently in our thoughts, so subtle changes in syllables and rhythm can be easily missed. By translating the poem into a song, these subtleties can not be noticed.

Not only is Iron Maiden’s song more like romantic poetry than it appears, but Coleridge’s poem is more metal than one would expect from a poem. In the third part of the poem, the mariner says, “I bit my arm, I sucked the blood,/And cried, A sail! a sail!”. This is something fans dream about seeing on the stage of a heavy metal bands concert. This story is about a ship lost at sea with ghosts, and zombies. If that isn’t metal, I don’t know what is.