Creating a "Ships Log" for "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"As a project for "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," I have to do a ship's log. However, I can't find dates in the poem. Can...

Creating a "Ships Log" for "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"

As a project for "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," I have to do a ship's log. However, I can't find dates in the poem. Can you help me?

Expert Answers
linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Instead of using precise dates, you might just use generic days. For instance, you could start each log with: "Captain's log (or whatever), Day 1....."

Note that the poem is divided into seven sections. Think about whether each section might constitute one day, with those events occurring on that day. Or you might invent dates for the voyage, setting it sometime in the early 1800s. Pay attention to the descriptions of weather so that you don't date the log in August and have the poem say that it's snowing.

Believe it or not, there are web sites that give instructions on how to keep a ship's log. Check out these sites:


accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a great project! I might have to use it in my own teaching of this fascinating poem! I don't actually think you are going to be assessed on your ability or lack of ability to find dates about when the actual events in the poem took place. Rather, your teacher is going to be far more interested in your creative narration in the ship's log of the kind of events we are told about in the poem. So therefore if I were you I would either make up dates or, as other editors have suggested, just put "Day 1" and so on. Good luck!

pray14me eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You might consider using logs from the slave trade.  I am providing a link that has links to other sites.  It provides dates and many different points of view.  You didn't mention if your log needed to coincide with the time period of "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" or if any type of log would work. "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" was published in the 1798, but may have been set as far back as the 1772.  Where you given any further directions other than make a ship log?

amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is neat.  I know that Wordsworth was rather put out with Coleridge's failure to produce in quanitity as Wordsworth did for their collarborative effort, "Lyrical Ballads".  This is believed to be largely due to Coleridge's drug problem.  I will definitely check out this book for more info on the subject.  Thanks, Jamie!

Jamie Wheeler eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a nifty project.

Later today, I will be blogging about a new book called "The Friendship:  Wordsworth and Coleridge."  I did not realize what a collaborative effort this poem had been.  You might want to check out the book or read my blog post. 




sarvesh31 | Student

You are basically looking for a basic timeline of events so that you can expand them into a sailor's log. Consider the following:

The mariner accosts a wedding guest and forces him to listen to his tale which begins as follows:

  1. the ship sets sail
  2. the ship is caught in ice and fog
  3. the albatross arrives
  4. ship is freed from peril
  5. the mariner kills the albatross
  6. the ship is stranded at the equator
  7. the men begin to dehydrate
  8. the mariner must wear the albatross around his neck
  9. the ghost ship with Death and Life-in-Death arrive
  10. Life-in-Death gambles and wins the life of the mariner
  11. All the remaining men drop dead
  12. The mariner endures solitude and fear alone with the corpses
  13. The mariner sees various sea creatures and realizes their beauty
  14. The albatross falls from his neck
  15. The dead men arise and their bodies work the ship
  16. The ship is caught in a whirlwind and eventually arrives at the mariner's homeland
  17. The ship is destroyed
  18. The mariner is saved by a priest, the pilot and his boy

The mariner admits that his retribution is to tell and retell his story to those who somehow need to hear it.

I have given you more than 14 points. You can omit or combine these to serve your needs.

epollock | Student

I don't think you need to produce exact days either.  Try, Jan 23, 177____," and words like "the following year" for one year later.

mountaingazer | Student

Myboats log at is a really handy site for keeping logbooks,boat blogs, picture and video galleries of your boat and delivers timely boating and sailing news

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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

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