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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  27,780 ratings  ·  441 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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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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.

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 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 man...more
Manny
Nov 17, 2012 Manny rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
...more
Kyle
Mar 28, 2013 Kyle rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
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...more
Numey {Azra, creator of Azura}
"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...more
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...more
Anastasia
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...more
Vale
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
April

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...more
Marcio Tomazela
Feb 18, 2010 Marcio Tomazela rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: To everybody
I knew this history from Iron Maiden music "The rime of ancient mariner", but read this is like going totally deep into the Ancient's tale...Its amazing this wiser lesson about love every creature of God, specially Animals.
If I could back in past, I probably would show this book to my Animal Science course mates, as it is totally related to my professional area.
I read it last night, as I faced a blackout..lots of rain and no eletricity... what to do? Read a Book!
Thiago
Omg! Awesome, awesome, amazingly awesome. I wish all poetry were like this.

Read this (grab a good dictionary), then recite this, and then go listen to the Iron Maiden's song based on it with a new appreciation (or for the first time if you haven't before) and sing and cry along while you do it, then rejoice and go to sleep(exactly what I did, but I guess there is no need to go to sleep afterwards, well not immediately at least :P).

http://youtu.be/D0Ayu_Y1DKE ---> Iron Song.

It is such an amazi...more
Daniel
Aug 16, 2007 Daniel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all
Water, water everywhere and how the boards did shrink.

Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.
Anoud
Sep 29, 2009 Anoud rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Amal Saleh
Shelves: poetry, my-favorites
The rime of ancient mariner is literally a masterpiece. It’s a very famous Romantic ballad (it can be considered as Pastoral as well) written by Coleridge, and it's believed it contributed a lot to the English literature. The plot of this ballad goes as the following; an ancient mariner stops a man who's sitting in-or hitting to- a wedding feast, and forces him to listen to his story. The ancient mariner had been in a very deadly journey. He suffered a lot and saw what a deathlike life is, thus...more
Lauren
Hell yes. Hell. Fucking. Yes. This book has everything. Gambling? Absolutely. Zombies? Of course! Allegories? You betcha! Symbols? So many! Cursed sailors? The original!

The poetry of the story is mostly unobtrusive, so I can't say that it's the most beautiful thing you'll ever read, but it tells a great story and it tells it incredibly well.

I don't know just what I really find so appealing about it. Is it the way-worn, soaked-by-the-sea atmosphere of the whole thing? Or perhaps the classical str...more
Michael
We sailed south near to the pole and in ice almost got stuck. We sailed back north and then just sat adrift. Many of the crew were killed and also a bird three under par and I drank blood from a jar. The loch ness beast swam under the ship and pushed me almost home until I saw the spirits flee from the church and I sang hymns and flew into the sun to cast the dead bird away, and away I followed him. I left the ship and walked ashore laughing on the beach. I raised my face toward the sun and brea...more
Alyssa
"Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink ;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink"

I loved this poem. It is one of those poems that just begs to be read aloud. It is impossible not to get caught up in the Ancient Mariner's story while reading this. The rhyme and meter of this poem blow my mind. Coleridge outdid himself when he wrote this. I read this poem for the first time in the 7th grade and read it more recently with my English Literature class. It is ageless.
Jessica
Aug 27, 2008 Jessica rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone, anyone
Shelves: read-in-2008
Brilliant, gorgeous, haunting imagery. Some of the most beautiful and memorable verses (I particularly like "As idle as a painted ship / Upon a painted ocean" and "Alone, alone, all, all alone / Alone on a wide wide sea / And never a saint took pity on / My soul in agony"). I loved: the juxtaposition of the natural world and the spiritual world; the eerie images that formed in my mind while reading; the "moral" you can draw from the tale. This is a poem I can read over and over again.
Kaethe
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...more
Marts  (Thinker)
The mariners tale focuses on the terrors of the open sea, the bad luck he experiences after shooting an albatross, and his eventual repentance. The rhythm and language is most awesome, mentally engulfing the reader.
Sadia
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
John Wiswell
I mostly abhor poetry, but here Coleridge earned a great rhythm that comes across even to the modern American tongue, and uses his patterns to put things in great ways. “Water, water, everywhere” is rightfully a famous passage, the use of both repetition and enunciation patterns lends the poem an almost immortal inertia. That is most fitting as it’s about a man who could not die when all his crew did. The albatross is also rightfully famous: the mariner shot it for no great cause, and wound up w...more
Punk
Poetry. Starts with an introduction and brief biography of Coleridge (Coleridge and Wordsworth were BFFs for a while!), then the 1834 version of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner—from the last edition of Coleridge's Poetical works that was published in his lifetime—is presented with the gloss that Coleridge originally added to the 1817 printing. Got that? It seems Coleridge was constantly fiddling with the poem since its first anonymous printing in 1798, adding and deleting stanzas, and changing w...more
Punk
Poetry. The Ancient Mariner, driven by guilt, compelled to stop one lucky person at unpredictable intervals and rhyme their ear off with his horrible tale.

I remember having to read this in high school and being surprised at just how readable it was. Sure some of the words were odd, and even now half of the weird ones aren't in my Sony's modern dictionary, but the rhythm was captivating and the story memorable.

I'm revisiting it now because it ties in nicely with my arctic reading. There's evidenc...more
Michael
With throats unslaked, with black lips baked,
We could not laugh nor wail;
Through utter drought all dumb we stood!
I bit my arm, I sucked the blood,
And cried, A sail! a sail!


I love poems that rhyme. (Or is that rime?) Even better when they have protagonists drink their own blood so they can talk.

This 200-year-old poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge has a simple plot whose moral seems to be don't kill things (I could be missing some metaphors), but it is told in such an eerie fashion, with relentless c...more
Mary Beth
This simply affirms my love for Coleridge. I really have to say that I think he's my favorite poet. (I am not good at picking a favorite for anything, but I think I can in this case.)

My favorite poem is still To Nature:

To Nature

It may indeed be phantasy, when I
Essay to draw from all created things
Deep, heartfelt, inward joy that closely clings ;
And trace in leaves and flowers that round me lie
Lessons of love and earnest piety.
So let it be ; and if the wide world rings
In mock of this beli...more
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  • The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and Other Poems
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  • The Raven and Other Poems
  • The Complete Poems
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  • Sonnets from the Portuguese
  • The Prelude
  • Selected Poetry
  • John Donne's Poetry (Critical Edition)
11525
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...
The Complete Poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Other Poems Kubla Khan Coleridge's Poetry and Prose (Critical Edition) Biographia Literaria: Biographical Sketches of my Literary Life & Opinions

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