One of our park partners is a wonderful artistic group known as the We Players. The We Players are known for turning landmarks and landscapes into their theatre. They have staged Macbeth at Fort Point, The Odyssey on both Angel Island and our very own Alma and Twelve Night at Hyde Street Pier. This October and November, they are back on the Alma doing a production on the great Samuel Taylor Coleridge Poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. I am quite sure this is going to be an experience as ethereal as the poem itself. In order to help people get into the mood, I’ve compiled a small list of resources to help whet your appetite. First, if you’ve never read the poem, you can find it here from the Poetry Foundation, full text: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
Rime of the Ancient Mariner Pathfinder
This document was created to assist people who are interested in learning more about the poem, Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and related subjects.
At the San Francisco Maritime Research Center
Sure, you’ve read Rime of the Ancient Mariner, but have you seen it illustrated?
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Milano: Edizione d’Arte “Felix,” 1966. Print.
Renowned illustrator Gustave Dore did the drawings for this edition. It is, as to be expected with Dore, marvelous and, due to the subject matter, frightening. FF PR4479 R5
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. New York: Heritage Press, 1945. Print.
This beautiful edition is illustrated by Edward A. Wilson with notes and an introduction by John Livingston Lowes, a Harvard professor who specialized in Coleridge. The printing quality is outstanding and this volume is perfect for reading aloud.
FF PR4479 A1 1945
Poetry and Criticism in General
This is just a sampling of the material we have on poetry collections and literary criticism. Please visit our online catalog: www.keys.bywatersolutions.com to see more selections.
Boon, Kevin A., and Karen Markoe, eds. Reading the Sea: New Essays on Sea Literature. 1st ed. New York: Fort Schuyler Press, 1999. Print.
Fort Schuler Press is the academic press of the State University of New York Maritime College. One of the essays in this book is entitled: Blurred binaries: a mapping of excess and desire in S.T. Coleridge's "Rime of the ancient mariner" by Royce W. Smith.
PN56 S4 R43 1999
Cole, William. The Sea, Ships and Sailors; Poems, Songs and Shanties. New York: Viking Press, 1967. Print.
Besides the “regulars” this collection includes works by people as diverse as Shel Silvertstein and John Updike.
PN6110 S4 C62 1967
Kobus, L. C. S. The Rhyme of the Modern Offshoreman. Houston: Seamount Book Co, 1975. Print.
I added this because it’s such an unusual book of poetry on such a specific topic. Titles included are “The Old Sea Rig’ and “The Offshore Platform.”
PN6110 S4 K4 1975
Williamson, W. M. The Eternal Sea, an Anthology of Sea Poetry. New York: Coward-McCann Inc, 1946. Print.
This compact volume includes over 100 poems. They are arranged by topics, such as “Nautica Mystica” and “A Child of the Sea”.
PN6110 S4 W6
Superstitions and Folk Lore
Bassett, Fletcher S. Sea Phantoms, Or, Legends and Superstitions of the Sea and of Sailors in All Lands and at All Times. Rev. ed. Chicago: Morrill, Higgins & Co, 1892. Print.
Also available full text on line here.
This book is cram packed with useful tidbits. If you ever come face to face with a kraken, you’re going to wish you had read this.
GR910 B31 1892
Beck, Horace Palmer, and Marine Historical Association. Folklore and the Sea. 1st paperback ed. Middletown, Conn: Published for the Marine Historical Association, Mystic Seaport, by Wesleyan University Press, 1977. Print.
Horace Beck is a notable Folklorist. A professor at Middlebury College in Vermont for over 20 years, this book is considered a classic in both folklore and maritime studies.
Clary, James. Superstitions of the Sea. St. Clair, Michigan: Maritime History in Art, 1994. Print.
This book Is an easy to read compendium of superstitions and stories from around the world.
GR910 C53 1994
We have many collections which include original poetry written by seamen. For an overview, please see this post on our blog, Full Fathom Five.
We have photosgraphs in the collection depciting sailors and albatross. Be on the lookout for an upcoming blog post of Full Fathom Five highlighting these and other images in our collection remeniscent of The Rime.
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner from the Poetry Foundation
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner from Project Gutenberg
See the beautiful Gustave Dore illustrations for the Rime in the University of Buffalo’s digital collections.
Smith, Laura Alexandrine. The Music of the Waters: A Collection of the Sailors' Chanties, Or Working Songs of the Sea, of All Maritime Nations. Boatmen's Fishermen's, And Rowing Songs, And Water Legends. London: K. Paul, Trench, 1888.
The University of Ottawa in Canada has gathered a useful list of literary criticism of the poem.
At Other Institutions
Here are some sources outside of the library which might be useful.
Bloom, Harold. Samuel Taylor Coleridge's the Rime of the Ancient Mariner. New York: Chelsea House Publishers, 1986. Print.
This essay collection edited by noted critic Harold Bloom is part of the Modern Critical Interpretations series and even includes an essay by Camile Paglia.
Boulger, James D. Twentieth Century Interpretations of the Rime of the Ancient Mariner: A Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice-Hall, 1969. Print.
Includes essays by Coleridge scholar John Livingston Lowes and the poet Robert Penn Warren.
Coleridge, Samuel T, Martin Gardner, and Gustave Doré. The Annotated Ancient Mariner: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. New York: C.N. Potter, 1965. Print.
This edition combines the drawings of Dore with the elucidation of scholar Martin Gardner.
Rime of the Ancient Mariner daSilva R. perf. Michael Redgrave. . West Long Branch, N.J: Kultur, 1984. Film.
The worldcat.org summary states: “A two-part program which examines the life of Samuel Coleridge from his orphaned childhood to how his friendship with William and Dorothy Wordsworth inspired him to write the rime of the ancient mariner. Part 2 consists of a visualization of Coleridge's epic poem - The rime of the ancient mariner.”
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Dir. Jordan, Larry. Perf. Orson Welles. Chicago, Ill: Facets Video, 1989. Film.
The worldcat.org summary states: “Using the classic engravings of Gustave Doré and a cut-out style of animation, the film follows Samuel Taylor Coleridge's long dream of an old mariner who kills an albatross and suffers the pains of the damned for it.”
Iron Maiden. Rime of the Ancient Mariner. 1985. CD.
I couldn’t resist throwing this on here. The 13 minute long song stays faithful to the poem, even including passages that lead singer Bruce Dickinson eerily recites. Could Eddie be the Ancient Mariner?