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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner: Poetry

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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (originally "The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere") is the longest major poem by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, written in 1797–98 and published in 1798 in the first edition of Lyrical Ballads. Modern editions use a later revised version printed in 1817 and featuring a gloss. Along with other poems in Lyrical Ballads, it was a signal The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (originally "The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere") is the longest major poem by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, written in 1797–98 and published in 1798 in the first edition of Lyrical Ballads. Modern editions use a later revised version printed in 1817 and featuring a gloss. Along with other poems in Lyrical Ballads, it was a signal shift to modern poetry and the beginning of British Romantic literature. It relates the events experienced by a mariner who has returned from a long sea voyage. The Mariner stops a man on his way to a wedding ceremony and begins to narrate a story. The Wedding-Guest's reaction turns from bemusement to impatience, fear, and fascination as the Mariner's story progresses, as can be seen in the language style: for example, the use of narrative techniques such as personification and repetition to create a sense of danger, or the supernatural, or serenity, depending on the mood each different part of the poem.


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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (originally "The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere") is the longest major poem by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, written in 1797–98 and published in 1798 in the first edition of Lyrical Ballads. Modern editions use a later revised version printed in 1817 and featuring a gloss. Along with other poems in Lyrical Ballads, it was a signal The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (originally "The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere") is the longest major poem by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, written in 1797–98 and published in 1798 in the first edition of Lyrical Ballads. Modern editions use a later revised version printed in 1817 and featuring a gloss. Along with other poems in Lyrical Ballads, it was a signal shift to modern poetry and the beginning of British Romantic literature. It relates the events experienced by a mariner who has returned from a long sea voyage. The Mariner stops a man on his way to a wedding ceremony and begins to narrate a story. The Wedding-Guest's reaction turns from bemusement to impatience, fear, and fascination as the Mariner's story progresses, as can be seen in the language style: for example, the use of narrative techniques such as personification and repetition to create a sense of danger, or the supernatural, or serenity, depending on the mood each different part of the poem.

30 review for The Rime of the Ancient Mariner: Poetry

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sean Barrs the Bookdragon

    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 as a finger click: it happens just like that. There’s little thought involved. For the Mariner it is spontaneity itself; it’s in his nature to destroy. The shooting of the bird suggests that all sin is th 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 as a finger click: it happens just like that. There’s little thought involved. For the Mariner it is spontaneity itself; it’s in his nature to destroy. The shooting of the bird suggests that all sin is the same; it’s so very easy to be evil in the face of opportunity. “And I had done a 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!” The bird is suggestive of a Christian soul; the Mariner shoots in regardless. He doesn’t care. Remorse comes later, but can it be called true remorse? It is only born out of regret because of the dire situation he is placed in because of his wanton act. Is this remorse or self-pity? Is he merely regretful because he wishes to be saved? The other sailors hang the bird round his neck, to represent a cross to show that they had no part in the deed. But, they didn’t care before; they had a pack mentality, to kill so mercilessly was a joke; it was fun to be in a position of power. However, when the scales are turned they realise the error of their ways. Is empathy that hard to develop? Do they have to be in a dire situation to understand brutality? “Ah! well a-day! what evil looks Had I from old and young! Instead of the cross, the Albatross About my neck was hung.” Before the shooting of the bird the world is a wonder. The ice is picturesque; it is sea is green like an emerald and the sun is fantastic. With the Albatross came the wind and the mist. Afterwards the sea becomes silent, the water turns to oil and the sun is bloody and vengeful. Nature recognises the crime; it reacts in turn and attacks humanity in its anger. The supernatural occurs, and the power of Coleridge’s romantic imagination is felt. The wonder of the poem is the many allegories it holds. It can be read in many different each of which is valid. The one that I hear when I read is the one that suggests of a spiritual salvation. No matter what the symbolic nature of the Mariner’s crime suggests, he is still redeemable. Humanity is still redeemable. Not all is lost. There is still hope for the spontaneous and the thoughtless: “The selfmoment I could pray; And from my neck so free The Albatross fell off, and sank Like lead into the sea.” It may be self-deceiving, and it may be just to save his own skin. But, I’d like to think the Mariner is genuine. I’d like to think he realises the futility of his actions and comes around. I’d like think his morale transformation is real, and he isn’t just doing it to continue his existence, but who knows. This poem is dense and conflicting, but it’s easily Coleridge’s best work.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cameron

    Her lips were red, her looks were free, Her locks were yellow as gold: Her skin was white as leprosy, The Nightmare Life-in-Death was she, Who thicks man's blood with cold. When I did construction work this is what I always wrote on the inside of the Port-a-Potties, amongst all the other graffiti and anatomically imaginative drawings of women.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jon(athan) Nakapalau

    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 finding) something else must be forever lost. A close friend who suffers from PTSD has related to me that this poem is 'true' to many feelings he has had to deal with.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Florencia

    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, I do not easily trust people. That is one of my many flaws fed by one complicated present. And, yes, not all people are bad but I am not willing to take any chances. However, many years ago, a young man t 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, I do not easily trust people. That is one of my many flaws fed by one complicated present. And, yes, not all people are bad but I am not willing to take any chances. However, many years ago, a young man that was going to a wedding, had no other choice but to listen to a strange man's story. He resisted but the old man, a bright-eyed Mariner, had already decided that the young guest was going to be the next listener. And so the story begins. This is my first Coleridge and I was delightfully surprised. This poem was published in 1798 and it is divided into seven parts. It is written in old English, of course, and that always means that I have to read it very carefully to avoid confusion. At some point, I felt like a four year-old finding help in the beautiful illustrations that this book contains. I probably should not admit that, but there it is. It is written. I cannot take it back. I could, though, but I do not want to erase that and think of something else to write. Like a lie. Because that would be too weird. And the babbling ends now. Coleridge's poetry is a true gem waiting to be discovered. Its vividness is something I have seen before but with a different style. A very unique melody. It is exceptionally evocative. The images it describes are too powerful, they manage to leave the paper to become something you can see and touch. The roar of the sea becomes too intense to bear. The sky transforms into a dark vapor viciously moving from one side to another. I could hardly see who was next to me, I only hear their yelling. And the loudest one came from the sea. And now there came both mist and snow, And it grew wondrous cold: And ice, mast-high, came floating by, As green as emerald. (12) And yet, the frightening images described by this poem do not sound that bad after listening to the music dwelling in every verse. This beautiful melody took me by surprise and became a serene partner throughout this entire adventure. Suddenly, the sky did not look so threatening; the icy water became bearable, and the solitary immensity of the sea was welcome. And again, contradictions. That feeling described above changed from time to time. The desperation of being trapped in such a surreal landscape was so great sometimes that I could feel it in my bones. Day after day, day after day, We stuck, nor breath nor motion; As idle as a painted ship Upon a painted ocean. (21) Gustave Doré About, about, in reel and rout The death-fires danced at night; The water, like a witch’s oils, Burnt green, and blue and white. (25) The story continues with the Mariner killing an albatross. That sad decision brought disgrace to all the crew, and especially, to the bright-eyed Mariner. Sometimes death embodies blessing, when living becomes a curse. Alone, alone, all, all alone, Alone on a wide wide sea! And never a saint took pity on My soul in agony. (35) This poem is a perfect reminder of everything we need, no matter the place nor time: respect for one another. For all living things. Not only for the sake of others, but for yours. Every action has its consequence. It would be a dreadful thing to have killed the bird that made the breeze to blow. Aug 17, 14 * Also on my blog.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    If all poetry books were like this, I would never read any prose. ____________________________________________ 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 contract of a difficult but talented software engineer, after which we had a lot of problems. This prompted the following verse:For he had done a hellish thing And it would work them woe For all averred, he If all poetry books were like this, I would never read any prose. ____________________________________________ 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 contract of a difficult but talented software engineer, after which we had a lot of problems. This prompted the following verse:For he had done a hellish thing And it would work them woe For all averred, he had fired the nerd That made the code to go. 'Twas ill, said they, when nerds won't stay That make the code to go.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    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 surprised to find where this poem actually begins and takes the reader. It's really quite an amazing journey that may appeal to those who don't even care for poetry. It's an eerie story with equally eerie illus 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 surprised to find where this poem actually begins and takes the reader. It's really quite an amazing journey that may appeal to those who don't even care for poetry. It's an eerie story with equally eerie illustrations told by an old sailor (mariner) about a disastrous voyage that begins with a storm that leads them astray until a lucky albatross appears and guides them along to safety....but then the mariner shockingly shoots the albatross and bad luck, bad spirits, slimy legged sea creatures and death result, but that's not where it ends....there's so much more. If you have a little window of time to fit this one in....I highly recommend it! It's easy to understand....and a winner of a classic!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Helga

    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 man who is attending a wedding, and begins to tell the tale of his sufferings during his journey.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Duane

    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, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink.

  9. 5 out of 5

    David Sarkies

    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 about how as a teenager I loved Iron Maiden, and about how they were unfairly persecuted by the church because they released one song called 'Number of the Beast' (with an album of the same name), where in 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 about how as a teenager I loved Iron Maiden, and about how they were unfairly persecuted by the church because they released one song called 'Number of the Beast' (with an album of the same name), where in reality they just wrote some really cool songs with some really cool music. Okay, this particular song is based heavily on the poem, and probably would be more akin to a ballad as opposed to a song, but I am getting ahead of myself here because I probably shouldn't be talking about Iron Maiden. Still, I should at least display the cover for the single: As I was looking through Google Images for this particular poster I noticed that a lot of the artwork relating to this particular poem was very dark, and in some cases bordering on the horrific. Take for instance this poster: There is a very heavy spiritual element to it, but then again the poem itself has some very strong spiritual connotations, with ghost ships, curses, and of course the mariner being forced to live and watch all of his crew die of thirst one by one. In fact, a classic line 'water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink' comes from this poem (and not, as originally thought, from the Iron Maiden song). I'm sure we all know the story about how a group of sailors travel to the south pole and get stuck in the ice and then along comes an albatross who leads them out of the ice only to have one of the sailors shoot it with a crossbow (to the horror of the rest of the crew considering the Albatross is a good omen to sailors, and killing one brings lots of bad luck). Sure enough, the ship become becalmed in the middle of the Pacific Ocean and one by one the crew drop dead until the silly sailor is the only one left alive. However, he ends up getting rescued (after a rain storm passes over to resupply his water) and then returns to England where he grabs some unsuspecting person at a wedding and proceeds to retell his story. What I think is happening in this poem is that it is a reaction against the 'Age of Reason'. This was a period in Europe where philosophy was shifting from the sacred to the secular. Basically unless something could be proven empirically it is of no worth and of no interest. It was in effect the beginning of the end of the church, and of superstition (though as far as I am concerned the church is still alive and well today). The whole thing about the albatross is that it was superstition, and by shooting it with a crossbow the sailor is in effect thumbing his nose at superstition. As far as he is concerned, the age of superstition has passed and the age of reason has begun. Coleridge, I suspect, is saying 'no it hasn't'. I don't necessarily think he is suggesting that we avoid black cats and look for four leaf clovers, but he is saying that despite the rise of the scientific method, we simply cannot discard the sacred, because not only is the sacred important to our past and gives us an identity, it also puts limits on morality. In effect, from what I gained from reading this poem, is that we dispense with the sacred code at our peril.

  10. 5 out of 5

    CheshRCat

    "Hey, where were you last night?" "Huh?" "It was the wedding last night. Remember? Hello, you were supposed to be the best man! The bride was really upset when you didn't show up! Everybody kept asking me, 'Where is he, where is he?' And I was like, 'I don't know!' I was kind of getting worried about you, dude." "Oh. Sorry." "So why didn't you come? You sick or something?" "No, not sick, exactly." "So you just blew us off?" "Well–I got distracted, I guess. It was the weirdest thing. I mean, I was on my "Hey, where were you last night?" "Huh?" "It was the wedding last night. Remember? Hello, you were supposed to be the best man! The bride was really upset when you didn't show up! Everybody kept asking me, 'Where is he, where is he?' And I was like, 'I don't know!' I was kind of getting worried about you, dude." "Oh. Sorry." "So why didn't you come? You sick or something?" "No, not sick, exactly." "So you just blew us off?" "Well–I got distracted, I guess. It was the weirdest thing. I mean, I was on my way to the reception, when all of a sudden this creepy old guy comes up to me, right? And he just looked all greasy and skinny and unshaven. And he was all, 'There was a ship.' " "He just walks up to you, and says that? Dude. That's really weird." "I know, right? So I was like, 'Piss off, you crazy old guy with a beard.' But he wouldn't, so finally I just listened. And he told this story, and actually my mind was kind of blown." "Your mind was blown? What does that mean? What kind of story?" "Well, so this guy, he was travelling around on this ship, right? And then this great big bird–an albatross, I think he said– started following him around, and, like, helping him out and stuff. So then he shot it." "Well, that was kind of a douche move. Anyway, aren't you not allowed to shoot birds without a licence? Did this guy have a licence? What kind of gun was he using?" "Not a gun. A crossbow." "A crossb....WTF? Okay. So you met some old crazy guy, who's probably also dangerous. Did he, like, kidnap you or something?" "No, no. Like I say–he just kind of blew my mind." "Ohhhh, man. He got you high, am I right? And now you're tripping." "No, no, nothing like that. It was just...I'll finish the story, kay? Then you’ll get it.” “Um, okay.” “So then they started having all this bad luck, right? After they shot the albatross. And they were all really thirsty–” “Thirsty?” “Well, yeah, cause they were on a boat, and they were out of water. I mean, like, there was water all over the place, but they couldn’t drink any of it. You know? Anyway, then they made him wear the dead bird around his neck–” “Wasn’t that super uncomfortable?” “I think that was sort of the point. I dunno. Finally they saw this other boat. And there were these two people on it, this chick, and this other guy. And they were playing dice...” “What, you mean like Yahtzee?” “Could’ve been Yahtzee. He didn’t say what the game was. Maybe it was Monopoly. Anyway, the chick was like, “I win, I win!” And then she started whistling.” “What song was she whistling? Was she, like, Jiminy Cricket, or something?” “Might’ve been the intro to Moves Like Jagger, for all I know. Then everybody died.” “Huh?” “They died. The whole crew.” “Just like that?” “I guess so.” “Uh–” “So then a bit later, the old guy started praying. And then the necklace fell off, and he was all like, 'yes!' ” “Why didn’t he just take it off earlier?” “Maybe he couldn’t.” “But when he raised his hands to pray, that jostled it, or something?” “Could be. So then–this is the really crazy part–all the crew turned into zombies.” “Zombies?” “Zombies.” “Okay. I’m gonna stop you right there.” “Why?” “This still doesn’t explain why you didn’t come to the wedding!” “I dunno man. After he finished the story, I was just, like, stunned. And I just went home.” “Okay. Dude. You’re definitely tripping.” “No, I swear I’m not. I’m just sadder, I guess. And wiser.” “Sadder and...? Screw it. Call me when it wears off.” “Wait–!” *click* Don't get me wrong. I love this poem. Just couldn't resist having a bit of fun...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kyle

    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 like (let alone, love) poetry, but when I do I tend to really like it. No doubt, someone more knowledgeable or better-*cough*-versed in poetry can probably figure out why I like the poetry/poets I do (Li 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 like (let alone, love) poetry, but when I do I tend to really like it. No doubt, someone more knowledgeable or better-*cough*-versed in poetry can probably figure out why I like the poetry/poets I do (Like Blake, Eliot, Tennyson, Emerson) as opposed to the poetry I don't (Like Dickenson, Plath, Ginsberg, Cummings). I don't really know. I have never taken a poetry class, nor do I know of anyone around me who is an avid poetry fan, whom I can talk to about poetry. I don't really understand what makes one poet one way, or another different. I don't understand why The Wasteland makes my heart stir, or why The Colossus makes my eyes roll. I do understand one thing, though: The Ancient Mariner is one work that has revitalized my occasionally flagging interest in poetry, and I'm thankful for it. That being said, I can't imagine reading this without Peake's illustrations. If you're reading a version without Peake's illustrations, you are wrong, and you should feel wrong. Though, I suppose you can be forgiven if you are satisfied with the Gustav Dorè; he is amazing too, and was actually a major influence on Mervyn Peake. Bottom Line: Came for the Peake, stayed for the Coleridge (and Peake).

  12. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth O'Callahan

    I know 'serious' students of poetry will mock this, but I really think this is a superlative poem and will even say that I believe Coleridge to be a superior poet to Wordsworth. The ballad meter is delightful, and how can one not be won over by things like: "I fear thee, ancient mariner/ I fear thy skinny hand/ For thou art long and lank and brown/ As is the ribbed sea sand." Ew, I mean, can't you just imagine what this guy looks like? Or how about this? "The very deep did rot : O Christ ! That eve I know 'serious' students of poetry will mock this, but I really think this is a superlative poem and will even say that I believe Coleridge to be a superior poet to Wordsworth. The ballad meter is delightful, and how can one not be won over by things like: "I fear thee, ancient mariner/ I fear thy skinny hand/ For thou art long and lank and brown/ As is the ribbed sea sand." Ew, I mean, can't you just imagine what this guy looks like? Or how about this? "The very deep did rot : O Christ ! That ever this should be ! Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs Upon the slimy sea." Again, so evocatively gross. One last stanza, maybe my favorite: 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. I adore that 3rd line. I could just keep putting stanzas up here, but then you won't read it. He's pretty much my idol when I try to write poetry.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    As just an audio book, this is excellent. It's short so I'd really like to listen to it again while looking at an illustrated version I have around here somewhere from my grandfather. Another classic well preserved & given to the public by Librivox. Thanks!!!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Calista

    I had to read this for 11th grade English class. After we discussed it, our teacher brought in the Iron Maiden song and played it for us in class as it is the whole text of the poem. That was my introduction to Iron Maiden. I had seen the shirts for years and they were so gross the band scared me and I remember thinking that it was just louder music and not so scary after all.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Liam

    I loved the first 3/4's of this! They were full of fantastic imagery and it read really well. But then, the last 1/4 just didn't sit well with me, it felt pretty out of place compared to the rest of the poem. However, it was overall really enjoyable and intriguing!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Spuckler

    Another Audible.com revisiting of something that I read many times before.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Unknown

    Reminds me when I was a literature student !

  18. 5 out of 5

    ❄️ Propertea Of Frostea ❄️ Bitter SnoBerry ❄

    "Like a painted ship On a painted ocean" "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." (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] :') Loved the poem so much!!! S.T. Coleridge, you stoppeth me from my misery about something =) It was my rime I loved the metaphors in it and...beautif "Like a painted ship On a painted ocean" "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." (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] :') Loved the poem so much!!! S.T. Coleridge, you stoppeth me from my misery about something =) It was my rime I loved the metaphors in it and...beautiful!! Just like "Water, water, everywhere, and the ships did sink, water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink" for me it's Words, words, everywhere, and all the words did brink, words, words, everywhere, but none for me to think!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alexxy

    I still don't understand the point of this book. Maybe because I kept wanting to DNF it. Nothing picked up my interest through the whole thing. The only reason I never gave up reading was because it's such a fast read and I was ashamed to DNF it. I can even say I didn't understand anything after the 75%, I just kind of skimmed the pages to end it sooner.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Eliza

    I fear thee ancient mariner! I fear thy skinny hand! And thou art long and lank and brown, As is the ribbed sea-sand Sections of this poem just go around and around in my head sometimes. It's like the reading equivalent of sea sickness. In a really, really good way.

  21. 4 out of 5

    april.

    "And is that Woman all her crew? Is that a DEATH? And are there two?"

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alan

    "It is an Ancient Mariner And he stoppeth one of Three-- 'By thy long grey beard and twinkling* eye, Now wherefore stoppeth thou me?' 'There was a Ship...' 'Unhand me, Grey-beard loon!'" I recall aloudreading and memorizing this in Grammar School (no longer the Latin Grammar school Shakespeare attended), Grade Four to Eight, which? Tested on knowing maybe 40 lines--beginning, ending, and various passages in between. In fact, it grounded me in my adolescent loneliness: "this soul has been/ Alone "It is an Ancient Mariner And he stoppeth one of Three-- 'By thy long grey beard and twinkling* eye, Now wherefore stoppeth thou me?' 'There was a Ship...' 'Unhand me, Grey-beard loon!'" I recall aloudreading and memorizing this in Grammar School (no longer the Latin Grammar school Shakespeare attended), Grade Four to Eight, which? Tested on knowing maybe 40 lines--beginning, ending, and various passages in between. In fact, it grounded me in my adolescent loneliness: "this soul has been/ Alone on a wide wide sea. / So lonely 'twas that God himself / Scarce seemed there to be." From adolescent loneliness to religious doubt, all bound in simple measure. Of course, it had a Christian message, but also quite a bit of maritime knowledge-- the Albatross, " the Fair breeze blew, the white foam flew / The furrow followed free. / We were the first that ever burst / Into that silent sea." As well as plenty of poetic knowledge--here, medial caesura-rhyme, "blew" and "flew," "first" and "burst." Even an Hydrology message: "Water, water everywhere / And all the boards did shrink / Water, water everywhere, / Nor any drop to drink." A common problem for millionaires' shore cottages on Cape Cod estuarial swamps, where wells can fill with salt water. From his verse, one would never know Coleridge to be the most astute, intellectual English literary critic in history (along with TS Eliot). One would never know it from his simple-seeming, ballad-form story-telling. Both Wordsworth and Coleridge wrote in ballad form (as did the greatest of all poets, E. Dickinson), but Coleridge told a novella in it. Also, the Christian message at the end broadly diffuses as an Eco-environmental one: "He fareth well who loveth well / Both man and bird and beast. // He Fareth best who loveth best / All things both great and small / For the Dear God who loveth us, / He made and loveth all." (Another failing in the Humperty-Dumpster president's preparation-- never read Coleridge, a drop in the bay of unread books.) That should be an Ecological motto, Endangered Species, " All things both great and small" [He fareth best who loveth best...] Q.E.D. We are NOT FARING BEST. *From memory...oops, "glittering" eye

  23. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    I've loved this poem since college. I re-read it again today and it still amazes me. Perhaps in a different light now. So many of the lines just stick with you and as apt as they are for the poem, can be interpreted to apply to so many facets of life. - "Water, Water Everywhere / And all the boards did shrink / Water, Water Everywhere / Nor any Drop To Drink" ... I can't help but think of global warming when I read this. We have everything on our planet but the resources are shrinking and soon we I've loved this poem since college. I re-read it again today and it still amazes me. Perhaps in a different light now. So many of the lines just stick with you and as apt as they are for the poem, can be interpreted to apply to so many facets of life. - "Water, Water Everywhere / And all the boards did shrink / Water, Water Everywhere / Nor any Drop To Drink" ... I can't help but think of global warming when I read this. We have everything on our planet but the resources are shrinking and soon we will be left surrounded with everything but have nothing. - "Alone, alone, all, all alone / Alone on a wide wide sea! / And never a saint took pity on / My soul in agony." ... I think these words just speak for themseleves! If ever you have felt alone in this world - and I think if we are honest with ourselves, we all have at some point or another - can you think of better words to sum up what you were feeling? The utter despair just oozes from the page. The poem itself holds special meaning for me as I think it does for most who read it. The mariner can be faulted, I daresay evil, and tormented, and alone but still survive. Haunted by the experience but better for it in some regards because he has lived to tell the tale and is sentenced to impress upon others the importance of "loveth best / All things, both great and small." It harkens to the repenting for one's sins biblical concept. That his crew of 200 has to die for him to find salvation can be a hard thing for me to reconcile but they are sealed to their fate as soon as their Captain - the Mariner - kills the albatross. I just kind of look at that as the price one pays for willingly going into servitude on a ship. In any case, it's a great poem - everyone should read it and I'm guessing you, too, will find there are at least parts of it that resonate with you as well.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dannii Elle

    This, along with Goblin Market, is tied for the most profound and evocatively brilliant poems I have ever read.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lör K.

    Rating: 5 / 5 The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is a classic poetry book from the pen of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. In my interpretation, this seems to be the story of numerous zombie mariners, and the story of how they became the way they are, and the things that happened to them all afterwards. I really wanted to read this again for my own entertainment after remembering randomly one day that I read this back in secondary school. I had really loved it then and I really wanted to reread it and give Rating: 5 / 5 The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is a classic poetry book from the pen of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. In my interpretation, this seems to be the story of numerous zombie mariners, and the story of how they became the way they are, and the things that happened to them all afterwards. I really wanted to read this again for my own entertainment after remembering randomly one day that I read this back in secondary school. I had really loved it then and I really wanted to reread it and give it my full attention and to revisit something I had previously loved so much. I found it for free on the Kindle Store and immediately dived into it. When I first read this, I wasn't a great lover of poetry, and I loved it then. I still love it now, years on and I will continue to love this for a long time to come. I would recommend this to everyone and anyone. The words flow so simply and so easily over the pages, I was hooked and had finished it before I knew it. I think it took me about 15 minutes to finish this poem? It was spectacular. Coleridge’s control over language is stunning and it created vivid images in my head. I couldn’t get enough of it and I’m tempted to read it all again once I post this review. It was absolutely beautiful and I can’t wait to read this numerous times over my life. I might actually read this once a month, I just love it so much.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Toufiq

    "Alone, alone, all, all alone, Alone on a wide wide sea ! And never a saint took pity on My soul in agony. The many men, so beautiful! And they all dead did lie: And a thousand thousand slimy things Lived on ; and so did I. 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 ball "Alone, alone, all, all alone, Alone on a wide wide sea ! And never a saint took pity on My soul in agony. The many men, so beautiful! And they all dead did lie: And a thousand thousand slimy things Lived on ; and so did I. 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. The cold sweat melted from their limbs, Nor rot nor reek did they: The look with which they looked on me Had never passed away. An orphan's curse would drag to hell A spirit from on high; But oh! more horrible than that Is the curse in a dead man's eye! Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse, And yet I could not die."

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    Water, water, everywhere, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink. That is the the line (or are the lines) that stick in my mind. I read this poem years ago elementary school (the late 60s). I was already developing a taste for fantasy literature. Where I lived at the time books in general were a little hard to come by, the school library was about my only source and this was a small rural school. I had searched out Arthurian fiction, looked up all manner of Water, water, everywhere, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, everywhere, Nor any drop to drink. That is the the line (or are the lines) that stick in my mind. I read this poem years ago elementary school (the late 60s). I was already developing a taste for fantasy literature. Where I lived at the time books in general were a little hard to come by, the school library was about my only source and this was a small rural school. I had searched out Arthurian fiction, looked up all manner of folklore in encyclopedias, found mythology (loved Norse) and so on. This was a wonderful find and I hadn't thought of it in years. I'm not really worried that "poetry aficionados" may not be thrilled with it (if they aren't) I'd recommend that if you haven't read it you find it and try it.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Already having an edition of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner illustrated by Gustave Doré, I bought this one for the illustrations by my favourite book illustrator, Mervyn Peake. Where Doré beautifully catches the gothic mood of Coleridge's verse, Peake catches the macabre, tenebrous quality of the Mariner's feverish nightmare. In her introduction, Marina Warner tells of how Peake's commissioning editor found his illustration of the Night-mare Life-in-Death too horrifying for its intended 1940s Br Already having an edition of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner illustrated by Gustave Doré, I bought this one for the illustrations by my favourite book illustrator, Mervyn Peake. Where Doré beautifully catches the gothic mood of Coleridge's verse, Peake catches the macabre, tenebrous quality of the Mariner's feverish nightmare. In her introduction, Marina Warner tells of how Peake's commissioning editor found his illustration of the Night-mare Life-in-Death too horrifying for its intended 1940s British readership and her portrait was dropped from the first edition, though much reprinted since and included here. Much as I love Peake's work, I wish for an edition printed on better quality paper to present them in the fashion they deserve. As for the poem, what can I say that hasn't been said before and more eloquently?

  29. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    I read this as an introduction to Frakenstein - I had trouble getting into the story, but eventually let go of reality and immersed myself in Coleridge's phenomenal writing. "Water, water, everywhere, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, everywhere Nor any drop to drink." My peers joked that Coleridge wrote The Rime of the Ancient Mariner while under an opium-induced haze. I think the drug may have affected his perspective when crafting this, but I doubt he wrote the entire poem under the inf I read this as an introduction to Frakenstein - I had trouble getting into the story, but eventually let go of reality and immersed myself in Coleridge's phenomenal writing. "Water, water, everywhere, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, everywhere Nor any drop to drink." My peers joked that Coleridge wrote The Rime of the Ancient Mariner while under an opium-induced haze. I think the drug may have affected his perspective when crafting this, but I doubt he wrote the entire poem under the influence. If he did, I'm jealous. "The very deep did rot: O Christ! That ever this should be! Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs Upon the slimy sea." I shivered upon my first time reading that - so gross, yet so beautifully written. I'm glad my English teacher had us read this despite that it wasn't in the required curriculum. Want to read more of my reviews? Follow me here.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

    I read this poem in my late British Lit class. I love the metaphor of the albatross as Christ, which the mariner kills with a "cross"bow. Brilliant. Also, the saying "Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink" comes from this poem. One of the most interesting things about it is that Samuel Coleridge had an Opium addiction, which he was continually trying to overcome. The themes of change, redemption and forgiveness are central to this piece, which are themes that Coleridge dealt with in h I read this poem in my late British Lit class. I love the metaphor of the albatross as Christ, which the mariner kills with a "cross"bow. Brilliant. Also, the saying "Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink" comes from this poem. One of the most interesting things about it is that Samuel Coleridge had an Opium addiction, which he was continually trying to overcome. The themes of change, redemption and forgiveness are central to this piece, which are themes that Coleridge dealt with in his own life. If you've read this poem and were super bored, give it another try.

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