Friday, December 9, 2016

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner: Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Jana na leo nimesoma The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, utenzi maarufu wa Samuel Taylor Coleridge, ambao ni moja ya tungo za ki-Ingereza nilizokuwa ninazipenda wakati wa ujana wangu, kama nilivyoandika katika blogu hii. Nimefurahi kuusoma tena, baada ya miaka mingi, wakati ambapo akili yangu imepevuka zaidi kutokana na kusoma tungo nyingi za fasihi.

Katika kusema hivi, ninakumbuka kauli ya mshairi William Wordsworth, katika shairi lake maarufu, "Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey," anavyoongelea namna alivyotembelea, katika utu uzima wake, eneo ambalo alilizoea alipokuwa kijana. Matokeo ya kufanya hivyo ni kwamba, ingawa hawezi tena kuyaona mazingira yale kwa hisia za ujanani, sasa anayaona kwa kutumia akili ya kiutu uzima. Aina zote mbili za maono anazienzi, ingawa zinatofautiana.

Nami ninajisikia hivyo hivyo katika kusoma wakati huu The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Nimeweza kuuweka utungo huu katika mkabala wa tungo nilizosoma kwa miaka ya baina ya ujana wangu na umri nilio nao sasa. Ninawazia hadithi ya kale ya Misri iitwayo, "The Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor," utenzi wa Odyssey wa Homer, hadithi za baharia Sindbad, riwaya ya Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe; riwaya ya Herman Melville, Moby Dick; na Utenzi wa Masaibu.

Papo hapo, kutokana na utafiti na ufundishaji wa somo la "Folklore," nimetilia maanani vipengele vya The Rime of the Ancient Mariner kama usimuliaji wa hadithi, imani mbali mbali ambazo tunaziita ushirikina. Kuna imani kama vile juu ya macho kuwa na nguvu ya kichawi. Dhana hiyo inajitokeza mara kadhaa katika utenzi huu. Kwa mfano, mwanzoni kabisa mwa utenzi tunasoma:

It is an ancient Mariner,
And he stoppeth one of three.
'By thy long grey beard and glittering eye,
Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?

'The Bridegroom's doors are opened wide,
And I am next of kin;
The guests are met, the feast is set:
May'st hear the merry din.'

He holds him with his skinny hand,
'There was a ship,' quoth he.
'Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!'
Eftsoons his hand dropt he.

He holds him with his glittering eye--
The Wedding-Guest stood still,
And listens like a three years' child:
The Mariner hath his will.

Kuanzia hapo, huyu baharia mkongwe anamsimulia kijana yaliyomsibu katika safari baharini, yeye na mabaharia wenzake. Ni kisa cha mikosi, majanga na vifo vya wenzake wote akasalimika yeye, na tangu hapo katika maisha yake, hupatwa na maumivu fulani nafsini mwake ambayo suluhu yake ni kumnasa mtu wa kumsimulia kisa chake.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner ni kisa cha kusisimua. Coleridge anazisukuma hisia zetu kupitia hali mbali mbali: mshangao, hofu, masikitiko, na huruma. Pamoja na kwamba hatimaye tunafarijika kwa jinsi mzee huyu alivyonusurika, tunabaki na majonzi kwa vifo vya mabaharia wenzake. Baada ya kuelewa kisa kizima, tunaelewa kwa nini mzee huyu anamteka kwa uchawi wa macho yake kijana anayekwenda arusini na kumfanya asikilize kisa chake hadi mwisho.


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