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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  36,169 Ratings  ·  633 Reviews
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 was published in 1798 in the first edition of Lyrical Ballads. Modern editions use a later revised version printed in 1817 that featured a gloss. Along with other poems in Lyrical Ballads, it was a signa ...more
Paperback, 77 pages
Published June 1st 1970 by Dover Publications (first published 1798)
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Kanjoos The dead body of the Albatross, a large white seabird shot by the Mariner.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Bookworm Sean
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
Oct 26, 2008 Cameron rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
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.

Apr 12, 2015 Florencia rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Since then, at an uncertain hour,
That agony returns;
And till my ghastly tale is told,
This heart within me burns.

Today, if a stranger would stop 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 ma
Nov 17, 2012 Manny rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
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
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.

Mar 28, 2013 Kyle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Poetry fans, Seafaring fans.
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
Elizabeth O'Callahan
Nov 27, 2008 Elizabeth O'Callahan rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 15, 2015 Liam rated it liked it
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!
hossein sharifi
Oct 09, 2016 hossein sharifi rated it it was amazing
Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

The title has different levels of meaning. On the most basic level, the poem is a "rhyme" – that is, it has rhyming verses – told by an old sailor, or mariner. Simple enough.

But why is "rhyme" spelled "rime"? Ah, now it gets interesting. In addition to "rhyme," the word "rime" means frost, and specifically the frost that forms in fog and wind when the temperature cools down. "Rime" often forms on the windy side of sails
Jul 24, 2012 CheshRCat rated it really liked it
"Hey, where were you last night?"
"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
Jan 17, 2016 Alexxy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-reads
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.
Mohammad Ali

سه ستاره دادن به این اثر هم به دلیل طراحی های گوستاو دوره است و هم به خاطر خود شعر

در آغاز کتاب مقدمه ای کوتاه درباره ی زندگی گوستاو دوره آورده شده است - البته در مورد خود شعر و کولریج چیز خاصی گفته نشده. این مقدمه برای آشنایی کلی با دوره مفید است

شعر در باب ناخدایی است که مرغی ماهیخوار (آلباتروس) را می کشد و بدین دلیل دچار نفرین می شود و کشتی و ملوانانش را از دست می دهد اما سرانجام به دلیل جوشیدن عشق به طبیعت در وجودش از این نفرین رهایی می یابد. شعر آشکارا رومانتیک است و مضمون اصلی آن الهی بودن ع
David Sarkies
Dec 14, 2014 David Sarkies rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Iron Maiden fans
Recommended to David by: My English Teacher
Shelves: dark
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).

Iron Maiden

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
❄️ 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)

:') 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
O poema não me impressionou, mas as ilustrações de Gustave Doré, sim!

"Além da sombra do navio, serpentes de água
Vejo em minha agonia:
Movem-se em trilhas de candura que fulgura,
E, quando se erguem, chispam lâminas de alvura das luzes de magia."

May 09, 2016 Anastasia rated it really liked it
Shelves: 0-2011, poesia
Yeah, it's good.

La poesia di Coleridge è incredibile, tralasciando per un momento quello che dice o non dice. Si tratta del modo in cui si esprime, la sua lirica. Del tipo che se mi parli anche solo di quello che hai mangiato ieri sera, io sono felice.
Naturalmente anche il contenuto vale, ci mancherebbe. Sono tanto belli i libri che ineggiano al valore della vita, almeno, questo è il significato che Coleridge ha dichiarato nella ballata.
Sono sicurissima che ha omesso interpretazioni secondarie
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
Mar 08, 2008 Laurie rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 06, 2012 Vale rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
La ballata del vecchio marinaio è un poemetto composto da sette parti in cui, il protagonista, un vecchio marinaio narra la sua avventura per mare. E' una ballata che assomiglia molto a quelle medievali, ma se ne discosta per i temi, assolutamenti simbolici e il linguaggio: semplice e diretto.
La sensazione che si ha, dall'inizio alla fine della lettura, è di imbarcarsi davvero in un viaggio: epico, avventuroso e incerto. Le immagini sono vivide: schiaffi di vento, corpi stremati, barbagli di lu
May 15, 2011 Thomas rated it really liked it
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
Мартин Касабов
Всичко е казано тук. За отхвърлянето на надеждата и за живота, прекаран в изкупление на греха. Трагедията на човечеството, което може само да разказва и да предупреждава по-младите. Книга за всички, които стоят извън тържеството, за всички, които биха изслушали разказа на един стар моряк, пред това да уважат поканата на младоженика.
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
Oct 13, 2009 Katherine rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Saoirse Sterling
A re-read of this poem without any hint of analysis gives me such a evocative maritime sense, there were times I felt myself falling in to the waves. But, upon such occasions, much like the tide itself, they ebbed and flowed and were not quite smooth throughout. Beautiful, but not always. Imaginative, but not as much it could have been.
Negar Bolboli
May 12, 2015 Negar Bolboli rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
"O Wedding-Guest! This soul hath been
Alone on a wide wide sea:
So lonely 'twas, that God himself
Scarce seemed there to be.

O sweeter than the marriage feast
'Tis sweeter far to me,
To walk together to the kirk
With a goodly company!--"
May 24, 2016 Erika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was beautiful, but so sad. and now I'm going to read it again <3
Jun 02, 2015 Suvi rated it it was amazing
Poetry is a funny thing. I don't read a lot of it, and most of the time it remains elusive and hidden from all understanding. I have had better luck recently, and clearly when a poem hits me, it hits me hard.

Coleridge. The language (which, admittedly, takes a bit of effort) has a rhythm that swallows you into the depth of the rumbling sea and covers you with the smell of salt. It sweeps you off your feet and makes you feel the weight of the albatross around your neck. The melody dances with the
Aug 15, 2015 Toufiq rated it really liked it
Recommended to Toufiq by: Tomisra Tahnum
Shelves: poetry
"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
Jul 08, 2014 Kaethe rated it liked it
Shelves: format-ebooks, poetry
No doubt this reflects a tremendous lack in me, but I don't get it. I got the rhythm, which is drilled into my brain, but the point of the thing eludes me. Sailor kills an albatross, which is bad, the ship is becalmed and everyone except him dies. Now he travels the earth where every so often he meets someone he is compelled to tell his story to. Poor wedding guest is stuck listening to the story, and is moved by it, which makes one of us.

I have no idea why killing albatrosses should be worse th

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

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

It's great studying something in literature that you actually enjoy.

(I was already excited enough to read it knowing that Anne Rice's Claudia came from Coleridge's Life-in-Death maiden.)

One of my favourites, a stunning narrative
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Samuel Taylor Coleridge was an English poet, critic, and philosopher who was, along with his friend William Wordsworth, one of the founders of the Romantic Movement in England and one of the Lake Poets. He is probably best known for his poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan, as well as his major prose work Biographia Literaria.
More about Samuel Taylor Coleridge...

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“Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.”
“Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, nor breath nor motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.”
More quotes…