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The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner


The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner


"Water, water, everywhere,  

Nor any drop to drink…"


Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s haunting parable of sin and absolution, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner first published nearly 200 years ago, still holds us with its story of the sailor locked in a living nightmare after he mindlessly shoots an innocent albatross and watches his shipmates die all around him for condoning what he did.

But death is an easier punishment than the 'life-in-death' the mariner himself is doomed to endure, alone with the burden of his guilt, until a meeting with divine messengers brings him the opportunity to do penance.

It is widely recognized as one of the greatest narrative poems in the English language and was a defining achievement in the establishment of the Romantic Movement.


SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE (1772-1834) was an English poet, literary critic and philosopher who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England. He wrote the poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan, as well as the major prose work Biographia Literaria. His critical work, especially on Shakespeare, was highly influential, and he helped introduce German idealist philosophy to English-speaking culture. Coleridge coined many familiar words and phrases, including “suspension of disbelief”. He was a major influence on Emerson and American transcendentalism.

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