Friday, March 9, 2018

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

This was a decent, fairly short story, written as a poem. It reminded me of The Old Man in the Sea by Hemingway, another novella that I didn’t care for. I don’t think I’d call it a fantasy but it does have unreal elements and characters. The story is told by the Ancient Mariner, who is recounting the tale to someone attending a wedding. He once was a sailor in the Antarctic and an albatross appeared and lead the ship to safety away from the ice. This mariner however had a crossbow, he shot down the albatross; the crew was mad at him, so he’s forced to wear the dead bird around his neck as a reminder. Sometime later, another ship comes into sight with Death and a woman (Life-in-Death) aboard; they are playing dice for the lives of the crew. Death wins the crew and the woman wins the Mariner. Eventually he gets home, but is un-dead and he has to live forevermore to recount his tale to others to make them wiser. Overall is was kind of weird to me, but made me think of other stories I’ve read that I liked better such as Beowulf, The Epic of Gilgamesh, and The Call of Cthulhu. This is out of copyright and is freely available online; I read it at the Poetry Foundation’s website but they did not have the images or side notes to summarize what was happening in each segment of the poem, like the hard copy does. If you are into reading old classics of literature and or poetry, this may be of interest.

[ Wikipedia page for The Rime of the Ancient Mariner including links to online versions of the story ] | [ Samuel Taylor Coleridge page at ]

Recommended by Kristen A.
Gere Branch Library

Have you read this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!

No comments: