Killing the Albatross

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One or my favorite poems is The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Anmol (alias HA) , at d’Verse today, asked us write a poem regarding Climate Change. I decided to try something different and write a Quatrain of sorts using the lines from the Coleridge poem  turning it into a Climate Change poem. I had them side by side when I wrote them, but it did not translate when I loaded it into Word Press.

Climate Change… Killing the Albatross
The breeze dropped, as trees were chopped
A very sad day indeed
An now no one ever spoke a word
As we dreamed of a time with trees

The sun rose high in the caustic sky
In the blistering shine we burned
Everyone hid inside their homes
And for cooler times they yearned

Year after year, day after day
The weather never changed
Both hot and cold were caustic
As the planet grew eerily strange

People, people, everywhere,
And all the food did shrink;
People, people, everywhere.
And no water in the sink.

Every tree and plant did rot: O Lord
We never thought this could be!
With creepy crawler things with wings
And termites gnawing on dead trees


Excerpt from: The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner
Down drop the breeze, the sails dropt down,
“Twas sad as sad could be;
And we did speak only to break
The silence of the sea!

All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody Sun, at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the Moon.

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.

Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.

The very deep did rot: O Christ!
That ever this should be!
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
Upon the slimy sea

By Samuel Taylor Coleridge 

Photo of a crowd of people on the street : Dwight L. Roth

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24 thoughts on “Killing the Albatross

  1. How delightfully strange — I’ve been re-reading the Rime the past few days. The “people people everywhere” quatrain paired with “no water in the sink” is the doom of Chennai and so many other locales threatened by water shortages. I haven’t worked it out yet, but somehow the shooting of the Albatross — a symbol of animal greatness and grace — pairs with the merciless exterminations of the Anthropocene. Thanks for rigging the Rime to our time!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. One of my favourites too, Dwight. I enjoyed your version, especially:
    ‘People, people, everywhere,
    And all the food did shrink;
    People, people, everywhere.
    And no water in the sink.’

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I so admire Coleridge’s Rime — it used to be one of my favourite poems in high school.
    I love how you have “sampled” the poem and weaved it around to the theme through its drastic imagery, lyrical tones, and metaphorical understanding. I wonder if we will get the chance to narrate our tales, like the ancient mariner.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Anmol. My first read of this tale was also in high school. It seemed to fit so well with what is happening. By the time we wake up we too will be floating like a ship on a painted sea! Maybe then we will read my narration.


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