The Arrival of the Bee Box and the Rime of the Ancient Mariner

The Arrival of the Bee Box and the Rime of the Ancient Mariner

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In The Arrival of the Bee Box and the Rime of the Ancient Mariner,
compare the ways in which the choice of language, detail and the form,
tell us about the feelings of the writer.

In both poems, a range of literacy devices are used in order to
express the feelings of the writers. Plath's poem is written similarly
to the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, and yet they are different in many
ways. Plath wrote her poem in 1962 and Coleridge wrote his poem in the
1700's or early 1800's, and the style of writing differ, as Plath's
writing seems to be more emotive, whereas Coleridge's work seems to
have a more a gothic theme to it.

One of the main literacy devices used in both poems is the extended
metaphor. Plath uses the metaphor to show the box as a symbol of her
life and how she wants to escape from it, but can't because of the
consequences. "The box is locked, it is dangerous." I think she feels
trapped within her life and the depression of everything is getting to
her. She wants to get out and experience other things, but feels that
she has created her life and therefore must live with it, "I ordered
this, this clean wood box/ I have to live with it overnight" Possibly,
this could be related to part of her past, where she tried to commit
suicide, in order to end her life, so that she can be free of the box.

In the Rime of the Ancient Mariner, there are many metaphors within
it. As the boat travelled on its course, it came across some ice and
it got stuck there. At that time the Mariner didn't know what to do.
Then an Albatross came to the rescue and it cracked the ice so the
mariner was able to carry on his journey, "at length did across an
Albatross/thorough the fog it came; / As if it had been a Christen
soul, / We hailed it in God's name. / It ate the food it ne'er had
eat. / And round and round it flew./ The ice did split with a thunder
fit;/ The helmsman steered us through!" I think the ice was a symbol
for the limitations in life, and the barriers Coleridge has come
across in life and he over come them. Also, maybe the ice was a symbol
of the dangers that come with life, and once they are dealt with, you
can move along safely.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is written in loose, short ballad
stanzas usually either four or six lines long but, occasionally, as

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many as nine lines long. There are exceptions though. These exceptions
are usually to express the guilt of the mariner, therefore the change
in form, make one realise this.

The Arrival of the Bee Box has more of a distorted rhythm. "The
Arrival of the Bee Box" exceeds the standard five-line stanza pattern.
It closes with an extra line which is significant as that gives the
overall distorted feeling. There is on where in the poem that this can
be inserted, "The box is only temporary." This final utterance not
only announces the inevitable displacement of the box but also
outstrips the formal boundaries set by the poem. The poem is
structured in such a disorientated way, because I think Plath is
trying to express her feelings of being confused about what to do with
her life, therefore the distorted form gives this feeling.

Repetition is used quite often throughout the Rime of the Ancient
Mariner, but not so often in The Arrival of the Bee Box. In
Coleridge's poem, personally, I think that he uses repetition to
express how he is feeling at that point. The more times you hear a
specific line, the more of a picture is created in ones head. "For all
averred, I had killed the bird, / that made the breeze to blow! / Ah
wretch! said they, the bird to slay, / That made the breeze to blow!"
This suggests to me that, the mariner is trying to express his sin
that he has committed and how bad it was, as it was the Albatross that
saved them from the ice. In the next stanza, it repeats, "For all
averred, I had killed the bird" This emphasises my point in saying
that the Mariner repeats the lines in which he feels most strongly
about. Here he repeats about killing the Albatross after it rescued
them. He feels guilty for killing one of God's creatures.

With what I think about Plath discussing her life, as she repeats
words, I feel this is expressing how she is nervous about life.
Because she comments on the dangers of opening the box, then I think
she is nervous about death, "I ordered this, this clean wood box / it
is dark dark" The repetition could be seen as a sort of stuttering,
since she is nervous.

We know that the Arrival of the Bee Box is written from a personal
experience; as Plath uses the first person pronoun to write her poem.
She shows her insecurities when doing this though. She asks herself
questions, such as, "I wonder if they would miss me". This explains to
me that if she opens the box, i.e. dies, then she is questioning
whether she is important to anyone enough to be remembered. Also
relating to the point about being a personal experience, she says, "I
have to live with it over night". This shows me that her insecurities
build up and as she questions herself more about opening the box and
whatever she decides she will have to live with.

In comparison, Coleridge uses the third person pronoun to tell his
story, "It is an Ancient Mariner/He holds him with his skinny hand".
He tries to engage his readers by giving descriptions of the mariner,
and therefore giving a strong imagery in the mind. By using the third
person, I feel he is still trying to express the poem as though it is
still a personal experience and show his beliefs, but he is trying to
not involve himself into the poem, he is seen as strictly a narrator.

Plath uses light punctuation when writing her poem. I think this is to
show how she is feeling very weary, and unsure about everything that
is going on. She doesn't use exclamation marks, therefore showing she
isn't shouting, or trying to express anything strongly. She is merely
trying to tell people about how she feels, rather than trying to prove
a point or such, in which you would use strong punctuation to do.
Coleridge, on the other hand, uses strong punctuation when he uses
speech, in order to try to express the point that it is sinful to kill
one of God's precious creatures.

Plath successfully shows her feelings to the reader, but Coleridge
uses an extra device in order to show how he is feeling, pathetic
fallacy. By the use of the weather he shows when he is happy and when
he is sad. "Glimmered the white moon - shine" this gives me the
feeling that something scary is about to happen, as the moon light
shines down on the people. This is the point in the play in which the
albatross is shot, therefore showing that something bad happened.
After the albatross is dead, the mariner feels guilty and cursed..
"The stars were dim, and thick the night" this shows me that the
mariner feels guilty of killing the bird and his life is now dark
because of the sin he has created. Therefore the use of pathetic
fallacy creates the scene for what Coleridge is trying to express, as
well as a more vivid picture in one's head.

Both poets are successful in showing their feelings through a number
of literacy devices, and through the forms of the poems.
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