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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Paperback – June 1, 1970
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From Publishers Weekly
"It is an ancient Mariner, and he stoppeth one of thee...." Although these ominous lines perennially instill fear of final exams and term papers in the minds of high school students and Romantic English majors, they're not often remembered by adults. Mason's reading of Coleridge's 1796 epic poem is at once hypnotic and stirring. The Academy Award-nominated actor reads the chilling tale involving clashes with sea monsters, a boat swarming with zombies and a dice game with Death in an authoritative English accent. Like the ocean surrounding the Mariner's ship, his voice ebbs and flows with the imaginative poem's various heights. He quickly rattles off, "water, water, every where, and all the boards did shrink; Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink" but gently whispers "And I had done an hellish thing, and it would work `em woe: For all averred, I had killed the bird that made the breeze to blow." Coleridge (1772-1834), uses words to make the fantastical believable, and here, Mason brings those words vividly to life. A bonus track features Mason's animated reading of The Hunting of the Snark, an eight-canto poem by Lewis Carroll.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From School Library Journal
Grade 4 Up-- One of the classic poems of the romantic period of English literature has been illustrated with charcoal drawings and full-color, full-page pastel seascapes by Young. Coleridge's masterpiece has much to recommend it to a modern audience because of its central theme of the importance of ``all things both great and small;'' also, the mysterious supernatural events, the skeleton ship, and the zombie crew are occult touches that will appeal to many young readers. However, Coleridge's 18th-century rhymes and references make difficult reading and, although the marginal asides are helpful, much of the religious structure of the poem and many of the archaic words remain obscure. Although they may admire Young's dramatic pictures and will certainly enjoy the rich format of the book, few 20th-century readers will persevere unaided through all seven parts of this work of penitence. Its primary audience is adults who wish to preserve and use a recognized piece of English literature by reading it aloud to a new generation of young people. --Shirley Wilton, Ocean County College, Toms River, NJ
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top customer reviews
Samuel Taylor Coleridge lived from 1772 to 1834. He was often in ill-health, both physical and mentally. And he was a drug addict. Out of his anguish came this beautiful poem, which I first read, as so many of us did, in a high school English anthology. And I think I passed the test! Regrettably, it has taken more than half a century for a re-read, and there should have been at least a couple other re-reads along the way. Praise be to Kindle. It now makes the selection of particular “classical” works so easy, and often they are free, as this one was, and at your finger-tips within a minute or two.
As the title states, it is a poem that concerns an old sailor, his days at sea, and a very notable mistake. It is a poem told, inexplicably, or not, at a wedding feast, since it is a “life-lesson.” It is a sea trip from cold to warm. It is about being motionless at sea, because “For all averred, I killed the bird That made the breeze blow.” That bird was a harmless Albatross. And the following part of the poem has entered the English language as an apt metaphor for ill-considered actions that come back to haunt the doer: “Instead of the cross, the Albatross about my neck was hung.
The poem is also about remorse, and forgiveness, phrased as: “The man hath penance done, and penance more will do.” They do make it to that elusive safe-harbor. And Coleridge closes, with this most healthy and sane advice, about our place in the universe, and how we should treat others, of our species and not, both ‘great and small’: “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.”
It is a tight, fast-paced poem with memorable imagery, suitable to be read in high school still, or many years beyond. 5-stars.
The plus point of this edition is the extra information this book gives in the introduction and the notes, the minus point is that the poem itself is not printed in an easy to read way: the margin is not in a straight line, the extra line between the strophes is hardly visible; it has a 'restless' look. There is a free e-book version available online which only contains the poem (and not the extra's), but is printed in a nicer way, so that one is easier to read. So if you want the extra information, this is the best version, but if you just want to read the poem, the other version is a better choice. I downloaded both. This poem is best read on a larger screen (computer?) because then the sencenses do not need to be split in two, making it easier and more beautiful to read. I give the misprinted poems 1 star, but the extra information is worth 4 stars: so I have given this edition 3 stars.
It is not possible to copy a bit of the poem in the way it is in the e-book, this review-site corrects the misprint of the Kindle-book automaticly. If you click on the book for a sample before you buy it, you will not see the problem that the Kindle-edition has: it does not have this problem on the computer. I can copy a bit from the notes, so you can see what kind of extra information it contains:
*Page 3*, LINE 12--*eftsoons*. Anglo-Saxon _eftsona (eft_
afterwards, again, + _sona_ soon), reënforced by the adverbial genitive
ending _-s._ Coleridge found the word in Spenser and the old ballads.
4, 23--*kirk*. The Scotch and Northern English form of "church." The
old ballads had been preserved chiefly in the North; hence this Northern
form came to be looked on as the proper word for church in the ballad
The contents of this book:
I. SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE
II. COLERIDGE'S POEMS
THE ANCIENT MARINER
FRANCE: AN ODE
DEJECTION: AN ODE
YOUTH AND AGE
WORK WITHOUT HOPE