The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
7 Installments—Entirely free
“Water, water, everywhere / Nor any drop to drink”: this famous line comes from Samuel Coleridge’s longest and most celebrated poem, which tells of the horrifying events experienced by a grizzled old sailor on a long sea voyage. Speaking to a wedding guest, the anonymous mariner tells of a harrowing journey: though the trip begins well, they are blown off course by a powerful storm. Initially despondent, the sailors rejoice when they see an albatross, which is a sign of good luck. But the mariner shoots the albatross and the crew turns on him for this rash and hasty act. The death of the albatross initiates a catastrophe: a ghostly vessel approaches their ship and the sailors, who have nothing to drink, die one by one. The mariner is left alone on the sea surrounded by bodies. Coleridge’s poetic techniques create a heightened, eerie sense of danger, which is embodied in the mariner’s compulsion to repeat his horrible story to any reader—including us—who is able to listen.
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Opening Lines (Experimental)
PART THE FIRST.
And he stoppeth one of three.
Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?
The guests are met, the feast is set:
May'st hear the merry din."
"There was a ship," quoth he.
"Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"
Eftsoons his hand dropt he.
And listens like ...
Reviewed by jeancain on Feb 16, 2010
That explains a few things...
Some lines from this poem have entered into common knowledge -- and I hadn't known where they came from until now! That's part of the fun of reading the classics; I can react to the words on a personal level PLUS see how they filter into popular culture.
Reviewed by wsimpson3144 on Jul 9, 2009
a bit strange, but interesting at the end. overall, a good read.
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Ratings for 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' by Coleridge, Samuel Taylor