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Coleridge, Samuel Taylor - The Ancient mariner

Identifier

002669

Type of Spiritual Experience

Background

A bit of fiction , the poem is of course by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, whose visions were had by more interesting means than simple dehydration

Notes: The albatross has been killed and begins to be avenged.  A spirit had followed them; 'one of the invisible inhabitants of this planet, neither departed soul nor angel; concerning whom the learned Jew, Josephus, and the Platonic Constantinopolitan, Michael Psellus, may be consulted.  They are very numerous, and there is no climate or element without one or more

A description of the experience

From The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody sun at noon
Right up above the mast did stand
No bigger than the Moon. 

Day after day, day after day
We stuck, nor breath nor motion
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean.

Water, water, everywhere,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, everywhere,
Nor any drop to drink.

The very deep did rot:  O Christ!
That ever this should be!
Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
Upon the slimy sea.

About, about, in reel and rout
The death fires danced at night;
The water, like a witch's oils,
Burnt green, and blue and white.

And some in dreams assured were
Of the spirit that plagued us so;
Nine fathom deep he had followed us
From the land of mist and snow
..............................................

Her lips were red, her looks were free,
Her locks were yellow as gold:
Her skin was white as leprosy,
The Nightmare Life-in-Death was she,
Who thicks man's blood with cold

The naked hulk alongside came
And the twain were casting dice;
'The game is done!  I've won, I've won!'
Quoth she, and whistles thrice.

The Sun's rim dips; the stars rush out:
At one stride comes the dark;
With far heard whisper, o'er the sea,
Off shot the spectre bark.

….......................

One after one, by the star dogged Moon
Too quick for groan or sigh,
Each turned his face with a ghastly pang,
And cursed me with his eye.

Four times fifty living men,
And I heard nor sigh nor groan
With heavy thump, a lifeless lump,
They dropped down one by one.

The souls did from their bodies fly, -
They fled to bliss or woe!
And every soul, it passed me by,
Like the whizz of my cross bow

The source of the experience

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor

Concepts, symbols and science items

Concepts

Nymph
Spirit being

Symbols

Boat
Nymph

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps

Activities

Overloads

Drinking absinthe
Grief

Suppressions

Laudanum

Commonsteps

References

Samuel Taylor Coleridge – The Complete Poems