Samuel Taylor Coleridge was only twenty-five when he wrote The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, but it turned out to be an astonishingly prescient poem. This tale of a journey that begins in high hopes and good spirits, leads to a profound encounter with darkness, alienation, loneliness and dread, and finally sees its protagonist return home to a renewal of faith and vocation, foreshadowed the shape of Coleridge's own life. Summoning us to join him on a fantastic voyage through Coleridge's life and work, academic, priest and poet Malcolm Guite draws out the uncanny clarity with which image after image and event after event in the poem became emblems of what Coleridge was later to suffer and discover. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is of course more than just one individual's story: it is also a profound exploration of the human condition and, as Coleridge himself explained, our 'loneliness and fixedness' -- a prophetic parable about our place in a natural world that scares us in its immensity but which we assume we can control. Yet the poem ultimately offers hope, release and recovery; and Guite draws out the continuing relevance of Coleridge's life and writing to our own age. -- Inside jacket flap.
Machine generated contents note: Prelude: The Growth of a Poet's Mind 1. The Kirk, the Hill, the Lighthouse Top 2. Jesus and the Dragoons 3. To Nether Stowey via Utopia 4. A Network of Friendships 5. A Visionary Landscape pt. II The Mariner's Tale 6. The Ship Was Cheered 7. Instead of the Cross, the Albatross 8. The Night-mare Life-in-Death 9. The Moving Moon 10. Nine Fathom Deep 11. The Two Voices 12. He Prayeth Best Who Loveth Best.