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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 shift to modern poetry and the beginning of British Romantic literatureIt 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 techniues 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

10 thoughts on “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

  1. says:

    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 uickly 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 thingAnd it would work 'em woeFor all averred I had killed the birdThat made the breeze to blowAh wretch said they the bird to slayThat 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 picturesue; 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 freeThe Albatross fell off and sankLike 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. says:

    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

  3. says:

    Her lips were red her looks were free Her locks were yellow as goldHer skin was white as leprosyThe Nightmare Life in Death was she Who thicks man's blood with coldWhen 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

  4. says:

    Since then at an uncertain hourThat agony returns;And till my ghastly tale is toldThis heart within me burns 75Today 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 chancesHowever 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 beginsThis 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 nowColeridge'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 uniue 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 snowAnd it grew wondrous coldAnd ice mast high came floating byAs green as emerald 12And 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 bonesDay after day day after dayWe stuck nor breath nor motion;As idle as a painted shipUpon a painted ocean 21Gustave DoréAbout about in reel and routThe death fires danced at night;The water like a witch’s oilsBurnt green and blue and white 25The 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 curseAlone alone all all aloneAlone on a wide wide seaAnd never a saint took pity onMy soul in agony 35This 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 conseuence It would be a dreadful thing to have killed the bird that made the breeze to blowAug 17 14 Also on my blog

  5. says:

    If all poetry books were like this I would never read any proseI 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 verseFor he had done a hellish thingAnd it would work them woeFor all averred he had fired the nerdThat made the code to go'Twas ill said they when nerds won't stayThat make the code to go

  6. says:

    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 uite an amazing journey that may appeal to those who don't even care for poetry It's an eerie story with eually 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 safetybut 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 endsthere's so much If you have a little window of time to fit this one inI highly recommend it It's easy to understandand a winner of a classic

  7. says:

    Farewell farewell But this I tellTo thee thou Wedding GuestHe prayeth well who loveth wellBoth man and bird and beastHe prayeth best who loveth bestAll things both great and small;For the dear God who loveth usHe made and loveth allA 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. says:

    “Day after day day after dayWe stuck nor breath nor motion;As idle as a painted shipUpon a painted ocean“If the truth has to be told I must own that my first acuaintance with these lines was as some of you might have already guessed not through Samuel Coleridge’s poem but through Iron Maiden’s superbe album Powerslave and when I bought myself a new car recently one with a working car radio I spent my daily ways to and from work listening to Iron Maiden again and when I came across The Rime of the Ancient Mariner I decided it was high time to read the well known poemAnd I can understand how it grew to be so well known One reason may be that it is of sufficient length and will thus daunt students at schools lending itself even as a means of correcting unruly learners and breaking them of bad habits – all a teacher has to do is threaten those students that unless they will behave properly they will have to learn the poem by heart Another important reason can doubtless be seen in the beauty of Coleridge’s lines Since my re encounter with the Iron Maiden song I have read the original poem several times aloud and was always moved by the power of the words and the rhythm I can almost see the hoary mariner keeping the wedding guest from his destination commanding him with his eyes only; the albatross hung around the sinner’s neck; the parched men casting reproachful and hatred filled looks at the mariner; the skeleton ship approaching without any wind; and finally the falling rain that will slake the thirst of the cursed man It’s hardly any wonder Steve Harris chose this dramatic ballad to turn it into an Iron Maiden songAs to what the poem may mean one can be satisfied with the following lines“He prayeth well who loveth wellBoth man and bird and beastHe prayeth best who loveth bestAll things both great and small;For the dear God who loveth usHe made and loveth all“All things considered this would be a bit trite though and yet in its triteness most appealing to people of a particular modern mindset My personal interpretation is that Coleridge a wise Conservative wants to warn modern man – Man as envisaged in the French Revolution – not to overreach himself by thinking that the Albatross is his to shoot and carry around as a trophy If Man fails to keep his awareness of the limits of what is possible for him to do if he denies the constraints the universe its contingencies and maybe hidden laws some of them probably Divine put upon him and upon his desire to change the world then he will end up like this“Water water everywhereNor any drop to drink“That is to say he will end up in a state of society which grants countless liberties but has forgotten the true freedom that results from one’s awareness of the responsibility one’s choices incur The boundless stretches of water around us will not be able to slake our thirst for the real thing just as a life devoted to hedonism and limitless self expression will fail to truly fulfil any but a shallow and coarse mind This knowledge and the pessimism it is tinged with may possibly make the reader arise“A sadder and a wiser man“

  9. says:

    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 dayWe stuck nor breath nor motion;As idle as a painted shipUpon a painted oceanWater water everywhere And all the boards did shrink;Water water everywhereNor any drop to drink

  10. says:

    A poem which heavily influenced modern Western cultureReview of free Kindle editionA Public Domain BookPublication Date May 16 2012Language EnglishASIN B0083Z49HO36 pagesI hated this thing in high school The homework assignment to read it was interesting but the pain began in the next day's class The teacher read it aloud to us Slowly Then she went over it line by line telling us exactly what each line almost each word meant At some point she allowed us to say what we thought but then explained why the interpretations she was teaching were correct We did this for what to my memory seems like months but surely was no than weeks The poem isn't that long Come test time we were to regurgitate the meaning of various lines just as she had told us My exasperated answer that it means what it says caused trouble That teacher never did like me But that's ok I never liked her either Still don'tI don't remember a single thing that teacher told us about the meaning of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner I have not read it or any interpretations of it since high school until I recently read this free Kindle edition I enjoyed it And since no tyrannical lit teacher is looking over my shoulder I think What I think is that the albatross is a Christ like figure whom we have all killed with our sin which hangs heavily about our necks Even if the albatross is simply innocence the sin still hangs around our necks The mariner then faces tribulation pain and regret until penance repentance and forgiveness redeems him He is then compelled to tell his story just as are forgiven and saved Christians I have no idea if this is a literature teacher approved interpretation or not Don't really care either For all I know Coleridge may have been an atheist in addition to an opium addict but it sounds Christian to me