Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel…

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798)

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,664234,321 (4.03)96

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 96 mentions

English (22)  Dutch (1)  All languages (23)
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
Beautiful illustrations accompany this re-telling of Coleridge's classic poem. The large pages, white space and column notes make this more accessible to a younger audience, although, sometimes the column notes are as complicated as the 1800's text of the ballad. ( )
  GReader28 | Feb 21, 2016 |
1898 edition
  billheath | Jul 24, 2015 |
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 amazing story, such a beautiful metre, and the imagery so goddam evocative. From the start, even before the Wedding Guest you are enthralled by the Mariner's tale...

He holds him with his glittering eye —
The Wedding–Guest stood still,
And listens like a three years child:
The Mariner hath his will.

...for while he was entranced by the 'glittering eye' I was caught at

"It is an ancient Mariner,
And he stoppeth one of three."
-I guess that that was me - ----> Haha! I can rime! Was it good?

It is epic, creepy, even terrifying at times, during most of it you feel like you are reading at the edge of your sit and by the end your sigh of relief is akin to that which you would make after a scary movie, a roller coaster ride or an episode of 'the shield'(lol, no idea why I brought 'the shield' into it), What I really mean to say is that it is breathtaking, heartbreaking, awe inspiring, and terrifying.

Nowadays, or even better since then, our world culture has been riddled with references to it, not only in poetry, - for example Brazilian Poet Castro Alves’ Epic 1869 Poem ‘O Navio Negreiro’ (which I must point out, is also great)drank heavily from it – but across all other media from Frankenstein to Iron Maiden, Silent Hill, Watchman and Firefly it is really everywhere.

Surely, there are many ways to interpret this work; the one I particularly favor is one of the less metaphysical ones (in comparison to the others I can think of), it is about humankind turning against Nature and the consequences thereof. In this sense, we have the Albatross representing the Natural World and the Mariner Humankind. As soon as the Mariner turns himself against Nature, so Nature turns itself against the Mariner, we are shown that by a series of natural events that illustrate the curse, the wind stopping, the ocean becoming corrupted, the heat of the sun becoming more unbearable and so forth. These things will only recede when the Mariner makes peace with ‘The Natural’ therefore starting the process that culminates with the curse being lifted. It makes for a very interesting, and nowadays ever more relevant, cautionary tale about the dangers of screwing with Mother Nature, I guess it also makes Coleridge one of the first advocates for the environment that I have notice :P

Lastly, I must not forget to mention Gustave Dore's illustrations, terrific is the most apt word to describe them, for they are at the same time beautiful and frightening. I count myself lucky that I was already acquainted with his work, on the account that Lovecraft, who greatly admired it, mentions it more than once. In the Father of Horror's own words:

“I began to have nightmares of the most hideous description, peopled with things which I called ‘night-gaunts’—a compound word of my own coinage. I used to draw them after waking (perhaps the idea of these figures came from an edition de luxe of Paradise Lost with illustrations by Doré, which I discovered one day in the east parlour).” H.P. Lovecraft

So, do yourself another favor and grab an edition with Dore's Illustrations!

Good fun!
( )
  Jack_Saucer | Mar 14, 2014 |
The Dover edition with Doré's woodcuts adds a whole new dimension to Coleridge's poem. The horror, sublimity, and poignancy are greatly accentuated by them in the Dover edition. If you've read the poem before, loved it or hated it, revisit it in this edition and your opinion will evolve either way. If you haven't read it before, this is certainly no a bad way to become acquainted. ( )
  poetontheone | Nov 20, 2013 |
‘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 dead like a load on my weary eye,
And the dead were at my feet.’

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is, inarguably, one of the five or six most important poems ever recorded in the English language. And while Samuel Coleridge may have abhorred the Gothic excesses nourished to increasingly baroque heights during the years he was busy writing literary criticism, a younger Coleridge—perhaps, even, a more naïve and spiritually-aware Coleridge—managed to pen the only one of those five or six paramount poems to feature the supernatural as more than a passing reference: and certainly the only one to regard it with the mingled aura of terror, awe, and beauty that we have come to define as ‘Sublime.’ With this, Coleridge gave birth to Romantic literature (particularly the Romantic as we define it today: the Romantic as it breathes in the works of Mary Shelley, James Hogg, and—later—Poe, Hawthorne, and Melville).

The poem is so familiar, that I will avoid summarizing it in detail: suffice it to say that the story of the Ancient Mariner, who kills the albatross and is cursed to suffer at the hands of a Nature that is at turns mournful, spiteful, and furious, is one of the more archetypal scenarios in Romantic literature (and perhaps English literature, and popular culture, as a whole: the tale of the man who underestimates the forces that protect the natural world, and their contingent retribution, has been retold through lenses as diverse as comedy, horror, high fantasy, pulp adventure, and children’s television). Any underestimation of its impact, similar to Shakespeare, can be dispelled with examples of its gifts to popular culture and the popular lexicon: the notion of an ‘albatross hanging about one’s neck’ is a common enough allusion that it borders, nearly, on the cliché; meanwhile, lines like ‘Water, water, everywhere/Nor any drop to drink’ have become references so pervasive that many who have never even read the poem are aware of them. This parallels, say, the aggressive influence of a novel like Frankenstein on the popular imagination; unlike that novel, though, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner has not entered the zeitgeist through the vehicle of cinematic adaptation or references in a body of literature that bears little relation to it (although, coincidentally, Frankenstein makes numerous references to Coleridge’s poem, and is one of the earlier works of literature to truly embody the full scope of its impact—aside from operating as an extrapolation upon its central, supremely Romantic theme).

I have neatly avoided the relationship of Coleridge to Wordsworth, or The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’s inclusion in Lyrical Ballads: these details bear little relation to the concerns of this journal. I will, however, dwell for a moment on the initial details of the poem’s publication: as most are aware, the poem was originally presented without a gloss and utilizing the most arcane variety of spelling; this was corrected in a later publication (which has since become standard) largely because the format was not in keeping with Romantic ideals. That said, though, this return to an earlier, more esoteric device and the mysteries suggested by avoiding comment or explanation, are very much in keeping with the ethos of the Gothic, both as an extension of the Romantic imagination and a separate set of motifs. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’s early concern with itself as a text, by utilizing a unique (and antique) format is both indebted to the early Gothic of Radcliffe, Beckford, and Walpole, and influential on the later Gothicism of the Shelleys, Maturin, and Poe. Reorganized, with gloss and modern spelling, the poem takes on a new, more obvious, concern with itself as a text, which in its own right has become influential on the ‘epic’ poetry of later authors.

Interspersed throughout this review (see the original post at therealmoftheunreal.blogspot.com) are several of Gustave Dore’s illustrations for The Rime of the Ancient Mariner: but this is only the tip of the iceberg: the weight of allusion to Coleridge’s masterpiece over the past two centuries has been so incredible that to list even a dozen of them here would take more space than is permissible; needless to say, the breadth of this fascination with The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is not relegated merely to fine art and literature: again and again, up to and including the present day, the poem resurfaces in allusions and analysis both obscure and immediate in forums as diverse as popular music, animated television, and even video games. Still, it must be said, the most impactful and haunting of these references and homages to Coleridge’s famous poetic conceit rest in those that have taken illustration as the nature of their devotions: Dore’s images, while possessing a value to art uniquely their own (and, in many ways, remaining the standard illustrations to Coleridge’s opus), are, as I said, merely the tip of the iceberg. And this, in my eyes, remains the measuring stick by which we judge the canonicity of a given work of literature: not merely how often it is read—nor by whom—nor the nature of its subject matter, nor its ability to stand as a document of its time and circumstances, but by the degree to which it propels Art, and hence Imagination, as a whole, towards higher and higher atmospheres: both by stimulating the creative faculties of other artists and by drawing forth these faculties in the minds of those who have not yet developed them.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is, indeed, one of the great works of English poetry; but it is also one of the great works of world literature in its entirety, standing confidently among works as diverse as The Arabian Nights, Hamlet, and the Bible as a major influence on the art of those who have yet to even experience it first-hand. And for this, Coleridge was a prophet—and a guide.

( )
5 vote veilofisis | May 14, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (54 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Samuel Taylor Coleridgeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Coleridge, Samuel Taylormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Doré, GustaveIllustratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garrigues, Ellen E.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lowes, John LivingstonIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rooney, AnneIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
It is an ancient Mariner,
And he stoppeth one of three.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Do not combine with abridged editions such as Phoenix 60p etc.
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0486223051, Paperback)

Doré's engravings for The Rime are considered by many to be his greatest work. The terrifying space of the open sea, the storms and whirlpools of an unknown ocean, the hot equatorial seas swarming with monsters, the ice of Antarctica, more — are all rendered in a powerful manner. Full text and 38 plates.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:15 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Coleridge's 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' has never been out of print. This edition comes with the renowned Dore illustrations and an introduction from English literature scholar Anne Rooney.

» see all 5 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (4.03)
1 7
2 9
2.5 5
3 70
3.5 8
4 110
4.5 12
5 126


5 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 105,874,598 books! | Top bar: Always visible