Friday, August 21, 2009

I love this poem! By Samuel Taylor Coleridge, this epic poem tells the ghastly tale of a mariner who shoots an albatross and must do penance.

"The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared,
Merrily did we drop
Below the kirk, below the hill,
Below the light-house top.

The sun came up upon the left,
Out of the Sea came he!
And he shone bright, and on the right
Went down into the sea.

And now the STORM-BLAST came, and he
Was tyrannous and strong:
He struck with his o'ertaking wings,
And chased us south along.

With sloping masts and dipping prow,
As who pursued with yell and blow
Still treads the shadow of his foe
And forward bends his head,
The ship drove fast, loud roared the blast,
And southward aye we fled."

-there's a lot more, it's pretty long; but that should give you a sense of the captivating rhythms Coleridge uses.

The poem was first published in 1798, anonymously in an anthology of poems by Coleridge and Wordsworth entitled Lyrical Ballads. Go read it!

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