The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
By Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Study Guide Notes
By Mark Clark
Background to Performance (for teachers)
My name is Mark Clark. I am currently a Drama and English teacher at Windsor High School. I taught Advanced English to Year 12 last year and am familiar with the requirements of the current HSC Standard and Advanced English courses.
I studied ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ when I was at school in the 1970’s. It really captured my imagination and I vowed, one day, to put it to music. In finally doing so, I have tried to capture the essence of each section as the ‘feel’ of the poem changes. I ended up with nineteen sections, including three repeated melodies. I wrote this as a musical adaptation for stage, surrounding the poem with stage directions, but when I heard that the poem was coming back onto the HSC, I determined also to take it into the schools.
In live performance what you will hear is a slightly abridged version of the CD I have produced. All of the instrumentation and some sections of female voice are used to back me up as I sing and play acoustic guitar.
My visual accompaniment is a Power Point show of 128 slides.
In between the Seven Parts of the poem I will explain and discuss each upcoming Part with the students. My focus will be the HSC course prescription for: ‘Imaginative Journeys’ which I have listed on the next page.
From this point on in the handout I have addressed the students directly. In my thoughts on the poem and in my suggestions for activities I have tried to maintain relevance to the course prescriptions and to the sort of composing and responding they will be required to perform. My intention is (a) to provide you with a decent stimulus (by performing the songs) (b) to provide a useful class resource (if you wish to purchase the CD of the songs) and (c) to provide you with a good unit of ideas for the poem related to the HSC course...