Thursday, November 13, 2008

Rime of the Ancient Comandante

The Associated Press picked up the latest picture of Fidel Castro. The picture originally appeared on a Russian Orthodox website, and Babalu posted it days ago. Even the AP, sometime cheerleading section for the malevolent despot, had to acknowledge how "frail" he looked.

Something about the picture evokes Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and its tale of retribution, most notably this:

Her lips were red, her looks were free,
Her locks were yellow as gold :
Her skin was as white as leprosy,
The Night-mare LIFE-IN-DEATH was she,
Who thicks man's blood with cold.

Death and Life-in-Death have diced for the ship's crew, and she (the latter) winneth the ancient Mariner.....

....Alone, alone, all, all alone,
Alone on a wide wide sea !
And never a saint took pity on
My soul in agony.

He despiseth the creatures of the calm,

The many men, so beautiful !
And they all dead did lie :
And a thousand thousand slimy things
Lived on ; and so did I.

And envieth that they should live, and so many lie dead.

I looked upon the rotting sea,
And drew my eyes away ;I
looked upon the rotting deck,
And there the dead men lay.

I looked to heaven, and tried to pray ;
But or ever a prayer had gusht,
A wicked whisper came, and made
My heart as dry as dust.

I closed my lids, and kept them close,
And the balls like pulses beat ;
For the sky and the sea, and the sea and the sky
Lay like a load on my weary eye,
And the dead were at my feet.

Why not reread the whole thing? It kinda grows on you.

Dying by degrees is a terrible thing and, levity aside, not something to be relished. But in the end, inhumanity is all too human.

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