In "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," what description did the Mariner give as the ship was driven by the storm?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I take it you are referring to Part I of this amazing poem, when the ship is driven by storms towards the South Pole and before the Mariner kills the albatross. The storm seems to emerge out of nowhere, interspersed as it is between what is going on in the church during the wedding and the compelling, mesmerizing and riveting account of the Mariner. See how the storm is described in his words:

"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."

Note how Coleridge uses personification to compare the ship to a person leaning forward as he flees a pursuing enemy. Clearly, the stormy blast that has caught up the ship completely overpowers the ship and the crew's efforts to steer it, leading it on into a strange and mystical world full of icebergs.

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