una storia di mare – The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

A real story teller at the end of the 18th century was the Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. His ballad The Rime of the Ancient Mariner became the manifesto of the Romantic movement in England.  It is a poem, based on musical rhythm which  started during the Norman period.

The ballad was a very popular form: the language was  easy and could be read and understood by anyone. Usually the content was a story of the time. 

Coleridge writes that the story he is going to tell is a very old manuscript he has found and wants to share with other readers.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is about a trip: a man stops a guest at a  wedding party and tells him a strange story about a sailing trip (= una nave in viaggio). The fog (= nebbia)  falls down and the ship can’t move until a bird comes (bird of good omen = un uccello di buon auspicio). Suddenly the mariner without any reason, loses his mind  (= perde la testa) and shoots him. The crew (= ciurma) first condemn the mariner, then, seeing that the ship moves and the weather is fine, excuses the deed (=gesto) and make themselves accomplices (= complici). But the weather changes again and the ship stops moving.  The mariners are starving (= muoiono di fame e sete) when a  phantom ship (= nave fantasma) comes: two figures, Death and Life-in-Death play dices (= giocano a dadi). Death wins the life of the crew, Life – in – Death the life of the mariner. The sailor watches seven  (7 is a Bible’s number) times his crew die and  remains with the albatross tied (= legato) around his neck. While still on board (= a bordo), he sees snakes (= serpenti)  on the sea and blesses (= benedice) them unaware (= inconsciamente). The albatross falls down and the mariner gets free because he has understood the meaning of life and that every creature must be loved. Angels goes down the sky. But he must be punished: he must go around the world repeating his story about crime and punishment. The journey beyond (= oltre) the horizon  has become a journey into the self (= un viaggio in se stesso)