We saw a performance of ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’, with selected music by Purcell, at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Rory Kinnear did an excellent delivery of the poem, while the music came from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, memorably including a theorbo, a kind of gigantic lute.

In some ways it was an odd combination, as the poem is obviously not contemporary with Purcell. It worked pretty well, though: perhaps it helped that Coleridge’s poem is self-consciously archaic in manner – something that made it an uncomfortable inclusion in the Lyrical Ballads when first published, as that was supposed to demonstrate poetry in ordinary language. The content of the Rime doesn’t really bear much examination, but it is full of powerful images and phrases, which explains its enduring popularity.

One thought on “Rime

  1. Oh my goodness, how lovely. The Ancient Mariner evoked all sorts of images of the sea in me when i was probably 10. I am sure it was what caused me to choose a maritime career. I was at sea for almost 20 years! Thanks for your message Regards M

    Marcus Jones PhD. C.Eng. C.MarEng. FIMarEST. MIoD. Tel: 07730 322501


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