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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Book Overview: 

For killing an albatross, the mariner and his crew are punished with drought and death. Amidst a series of supernatural events, the mariner’s life alone is spared and he repents, but he must wander the earth and tell his tale with the lesson that “all things great and small” are important.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Glimmered the white Moon-shine. "God save thee, ancient Mariner! From the fiends, that plague thee thus!— Why look'st thou so?"—With my cross-bow I shot the ALBATROSS.



PART THE SECOND. The Sun now rose upon the right: Out of the sea came he, Still hid in mist, and on the left Went down into the sea. And the good south wind still blew behind But no sweet bird did follow, Nor any day for food or play Came to the mariners' hollo! And I had done an hellish thing, And it would work 'em woe: 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! Nor dim nor red, like God's own head, The glorious Sun uprist: Then all averred, I had killed the bird That brought the fog and mist. 'Twas right, said they, such birds to slay. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Since then, at an uncertain hour,
That agony returns;
And till my ghastly tale is told,
This heart within me burns. (75)
Today, if a stranger stopped me at some party to talk to me about some story, I'd probably walk away with a nervous smile, holding my pepper spray with dissimulation. I admit it,...more

To be honest, I bought this only because this edition is illustrated by Mervyn Peake, and I wanted to read the work to which he matched his amazing illustrations.

Little did I expect to experience such a wonderful poetry story. I am, admittedly, a bit of an unreliable poetry reader. I don't often...more

If all poetry books were like this, I would never read any prose.

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I was thinking about the Ancient Mariner just now, apropos Kris's review of Ice, and recalled an incident from a project I was once involved in. The person in charge failed to renew the co...more

Excellent!

Reading the USS INDIANAPOLIS a few weeks back brought this poem to my attention beginning with the well-known words......

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

First published in 1798, I was both delighted and surpris...more

Farewell, farewell! But this I tell
To thee, thou Wedding-Guest!
He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.

He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us
He made and loveth all.

A mariner, returning from a long sea-voyage, engages a ma...more

Who we start out as and who we end up as has always seemed to me to be the central point of this poem. One can often return to a physical place - but in the returning find that place lost - due to the way their journey has changed their soul. Looking for salvation one often finds that (in the fin...more

Definitely in my top 10 favorite poems. I love the way it flows; the lyrical rhythm "soothes the battered soul".

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, everywher...more

So why did the Ancient Mariner shoot the Albatross?

To me the answer is simple. He did it because he could; he did it because is he is a man, and that’s what men do: he saw something beautiful; he saw perfection in nature, and he killed it. That’s humanity for you. Sinning is easily, as quickly a...more

Beware the Age of Reason
14 December 2014

Whenever I come to this poem the first thing that comes to mind is the song by Iron Maiden (unfortunately I don't think they did a video clip – which would have been awesome in its own right).

I am really tempted to spend the rest of this review talking abo...more

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