The Rime of the Ancient Mariner in popular culture

This entry lists mentions of "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" in popular culture.


* In James M. Cain's crime novel "Double Indemnity", Phyllis is described as the creature who came on board ship to shoot dice in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." She dresses up in a red shroud and pale makeup.
* In "My Family and Other Animals" by Gerald Durrell, his brother, the writer Larry, confuses an albatross with a gull and interprets it to be a sign of misfortune. The poem is mentioned by name.
* In "Interview with the Vampire" by Anne Rice, Claudia is described with the following verse::"Her lips were red, her looks were free":"Her locks were yellow as gold":"Her skin was as white as leprosy":"The Night-mare Life-in-death was she":"Who thicks man's blood with cold"
* In Clive Cussler's novel "Iceberg" several references are made to the poem and it is quoted several times. The villain's company logo is the albatross.
* The poem features prominently in the plot of Douglas Adams's novel "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency".
* A portion of the poem was recited by Wonder Woman as the body of the Viking Prince and his longship were sent into the Sun, during the "Justice League Unlimited" episode "To Another Shore", at the same time that the Martian Manhunter leaves the Watchtower.
* In "Sailing Alone Around the Room" by Billy Collins, the poem "Workshop" describes how the title of the work in question gets the author's attention "like the Ancient Mariner grabbing me by the sleeve"
* In "Lights Out" by Peter Abrahams, the protagonist Eddie Nye has memorized the poem during his 15 years in prison. He ponders many aspects of the poem as his own story unfolds. The plot of the novel reflects several aspects of the poem.
* In Chapter 7 of Bram Stoker's "Dracula", it is mentioned in reference to the arrival of the doomed Russian schooner "The Demeter".
* The cartoonist Hunt Emerson produced a graphic novel illustrating the poem, and featuring his usual quota of visual puns, gags and grotesque caricatures. The text, however, is essentially used verbatim.
* The poem is referenced in the chapter titled "Campus of interzone university" in William S. Burroughs' "Naked Lunch".
* The author Garry Kilworth, famous for the Welkin Weasels trilogy, was inspired by Coleridge for the entire trilogy. E.g. when Sherriff Falshed is on the run from a dragonfly nymph, he quotes "A frightful fiend, did close behind him "swish," and also in the third book the entire scene with Death is reinacted with a walrus and a nubelous shadow, when the weasels pass their ghostly vessel.
* In James Tiptree, Jr.'s SF short story "Painwise", the protagonist says, "Her lips were red, her locks were free, her locks were yellow as gold... The Night-Mare Life-in-Death was she, who thicks man's blood with cold."
* Comic book author Bill Everett based his most famous character, the Sub-Mariner, on this poem. [Peter Sanderson (1996). Marvel Universe. Virgin Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-85227-646-0]
* In Carol Ann Duffy's "The World's Wife", the poem "Thetis" contains a verse with relation to Coleridge's original poem:::Then I did this:::Shouldered the cross of an albatross::up the hill of the sky,::Why? To follow a ship.::But I felt my wings::clipped by the squint of a crossbow's eye.
* The poem is heavily referred to in the Connie Willis SF novel "Passage".
* In the book "Club Dead" by Charlaine Harris the main character, Sookie Stackhouse, quotes the lines, "Water, water, everywhere / Nor any drop to drink" when she is surrounded by very attractive but homosexual men.
* The lines 5 to 10 serve as a part of the motto of the fantasy novel about pirates "On Stranger Tides" by Tim Powers.
* In Garth Nix's "Keys to the Kingdom" series, the Mariner is an ancient and powerful being. He claims his real name is Captain Tom Shelvocke, and he mentions accidentally shooting an albatross.
* In Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein", chapter Five, Victor Frankenstein quotes the lines "Like one, that on a lonesome road / Doth walk in fear and dread / And, having once turned round, walks on / And turns no more his head / Because he knows a frightful fiend / Doth close behind him tread" (Penguin Popular Classic 1968 page 57, cited from Rime, 1817 edition)
* At The end of the book Uncle Montague's tales of terror the protaganist edgar recites a piece of the poem to himself to illistrate his fear of turning back. earlier on in the novel uncle Montague compares himself to the mariner.
* Gene Wolfe's SF novella "The Fifth Head of Cerberus" uses as its motto the lines "When the ivy-tod is heavy with snow, / And the owlet whoops to the wolf below, / That eats the she-wolf's young".

Television and film

* Raúl daSilva produced and directed a critically acclaimed six time international prizewinning visualization of the epic poem using the work of illustrators of the past two centuries who attempted to bring life to the epic. Sir Michael Redgrave, who once taught the poem as a schoolmaster narrates it. The film also includes a biography of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and how he came to write the poem.
* Larry Jordan directed a short film that features animations of Gustave Dore's engravings and Orson Welles as the narrator of the poem, along with sound effects (the albatross, the sea, etc)
* The original Sherlock Holmes film series, which starred Basil Rathbone as Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Doctor Watson, contained a film entitled 'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes', released in 1939, in which Holmes' nemesis, Professor Moriarty, played by George Zucco, creates a series of false murder threats to draw Holmes' attention away from his real plan. These false plots all revolve around a series of drawings which depict a man with an Albatross around his neck. Throughout the film, Holmes makes references to lines from Coleridge's work.
* In the film "Serenity", when an operative tries to have Malcolm Reynolds sell out River Tam, referring to her as 'an albatross', Reynolds says "Way I remember it...albatross was a ship's good luck 'til some idiot killed it."
* Ken Russell directed a film about Coleridge called "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" [] in 1978 for British Granada Television.
* In the film "" an attempt is made to shoot an albatross which leads to negative results.
* The poem is extensively featured in the film "Pandaemonium", which is based on the early lives of Coleridge, Dorothy Wordsworth and William Wordsworth.
* In the 1971 film "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory", the character Willy Wonka says "Bubbles, bubbles, everywhere, but not a drop to drink...yet."
* In Richard O'Brien's "Shock Treatment", the character Betty Hapschatt recites the entire poem to Judge Oliver Wright who, along with an entire theater of people, has fallen asleep by its closing lines. When the lights are turned back on, the security guard Vance threateningly presents her with a dead white bird.
* In the ITV1/A&E nautical adventure series "Hornblower", Captain Sir Edward Pellew quotes "As idle as a painted ship / Upon a painted ocean" when his own frigate is becalmed in the episode "The Frogs and the Lobsters".
* In "The Wizard of Oz", the Wizard says to the Scarecrow, "Every pusillanimous creature that crawls on the earth or "slinks through slimy seas" has a brain!"
* In the season one episode of "seaQuest DSV" entitled "Hide and Seek", Captain Bridger quotes from the poem in order to convince Commander Ford that it is the correct course of action to allow an ex-dictator named Tezlof (as well as Tezlof's autistic son) safe passage on the seaQuest.
* In "The Ice Dream", an irreverent Australian talk show covering the 2002 Winter Olympics, the hosts said that a curse had been put on Australia's Winter Olympic team after Cedric Sloane skewered a seagull in a cross-country skiing event at the Oslo Winter Olympics, which could only be lifted by the team winning a gold medal.
* In "The Simpsons" episode "Boy-Scoutz N the Hood", Homer Simpson says "Don't you know the poem? 'Water, water, everywhere, so let's all have a drink.'"
* There is a 1952 "Looney Tunes" short entitled "Water, Water Every Hare".
* In the "Super Trivia" episode of the television show "Aqua Teen Hunger Force", Master Shake says to both Meatwad and Frylock that they're "Albacores around my neck," which Frylock corrects by replying "that's Albatross!"
* In the film "Out of Africa" Denys Finch-Hatton quotes from the "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" as he washes Karen's hair. She says "you're skipping verses" and he replies "Well, I leave out the dull parts".
* In the third last episode of the Australian television series "SeaChange", Max compares the failure of his relationship with Laura to the Mariner shooting down the Albatross. This episode is entitled "Love in the Time of Coleridge".
* In episode 92 of "Pokémon", "Stage Fight", a trainer aboard a ship recites the opening stanza of the ballad to her Raichu.
* In "Samurai Jack", the ancient mariner approaches Jack and the Scotsman asking if they want to hear a story. After expounding on the tale's subject matter, he tells them that it's called "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner", to which the Scotsman replies; "I've heard it." much to the mariner's bewilderment.
* In "The Pallbearer" the main character refers to his friend's fiancee as an albatross around his neck.
* In "Cast Away" the following sentences of the poem are quoted: "water, water, every where, and not a drop to drink."
* In an episode of The OC, after Ryan decides not to take up a job on a fishing boat, Seth says, "It's the return of the not so ancient mariner."
* In Season 4, episode 16 (Ring-a-ding-ding) of Sex and the City, Carrie quotes, "Oh, water water everywhere and not a drop to drink" when she and Miranda go shoe shopping for shoes she can't afford.
* In an episode of The Voyage of the Mimi, Ben Affleck references the poem.
* Nigel Marven's sailing ship in Walking With Dinosaurs: Sea Monsters is called Ancient Mariner in an obvious reference to this poem.
* The theme song of "Gilligan's Island", the popular 1960's sitcom following the story of a shipwrecked pleasure boat's passengers, was written with the same meter and rhyme scheme as the poem.
* In Monty Python's Life of Brian Roman soldiers knock on old Matthias' door to search the house. As he walks towards the door he says "My eyes are dim I cannot see / My legs are old and bent". This follows the metric pattern of the Rime.


* "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" is a 13-minute epic heavy metal ballad from the British heavy metal band Iron Maiden's 1984 album "Powerslave", based on Coleridge's poem with many direct quotes.
* Fleetwood Mac's hit song "Albatross" drew its title from the poem, as the composer Peter Green read the poem when he was at school.
* The album cover of Australian singer Sarah Blasko's album "What The Sea Wants, The Sea Will Have" was inspired by an illustration of "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner". A song from the album, "Queen of Apology", features the line "Truth, truth, everywhere, but not a drop to drink." The album also features a song titled "The Albatross".
* The song "Good Morning Captain" from the album "Spiderland" by US underground rock band Slint is an adaptation of the poem.
* Cecil F. Alexander hymn "All Things Bright and Beautiful", published in 1848, contains the following refrain which echoes the sentiment of the Ancient Mariner:::All things bright and beautiful,::All creatures great and small,::All things wise and wonderful:::The Lord God made them all.
* Shane MacGowan of the Irish folk rock band The Pogues makes reference to "a minstrel... stoppeth one in three" in the song "Fiesta". The Pogues song "The Turkish Song of the Damned" is also based heavily on the poem, adopting the same meter and including many direct quotes and references.
* The Flogging Molly song "Rebels of the Sacred Heart" has the line "the albatross hangin' round your neck is the cross you bear for your sins."
* It has been rumoured that Tuomas Holopainen, lyricist and composer of Finnish metal band Nightwish, gathered ideas for their song, The Islander, from the poem. This is can be seen in the lines "The albatross is flying.." and "Light at the end of the world.."
* The band Corrosion of Conformity has a song called "Albatross", in which the lyricist warns the albatross away. The lyricist also states, "I believe the albatross is me".
* Hip Hop group People Under The Stairs released a fake leak of their "Stepfather" album on the Internet, in which they recite the entire "Rime of The Ancient Mariner" over a back beat.
* David Bedford recorded a concept album "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" in 1975. An experimental work, it consists of two parts of the poem set to music, and is similar in style to a dramatic reading of the poem.
*The title track of pirate-themed rap group Captain Dan's second album, "Rimes of the Hip-Hop Mariners", was a stylized retelling of the main events of the poem.
*The poem is referenced in the song "Peep-hole" by Guided By Voices.
*The band Liberty 5-3000 has a song entitled "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" which uses the direct text of the first two parts of the poem as lyrics set to original music.
*The song Sahara by the metal group Nightwish mentions the Ancient Mariner.


* Baseball pitcher Diego Segui, who was pitching for the Seattle Mariners at the age of 40, was tagged by sportswriters as "The Ancient Mariner". Twenty years later, Jamie Moyer inherited the nickname.
* Since 1978, the U.S. Coast Guard has recognized the active duty member with the most accumulated time aboard its ships and an exemplary character as the "Ancient Mariner", as noted in [ the list of USCG Medals and Awards] (pdf).
* In the collectible/playable card game "", there is a card named and fashioned after the Will o' the Wisp described in the poem; the card even features flavor text with a pertinent excerpt from the poem:::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
* Another card from "" called "Scathe Zombies" features another quote:::They groaned, they stirred, they all uprose,::Nor spake nor moved their eyes;::It had been strange even in a dream,::To have seen those dead men rise.
* And yet another card from "" called "Wall of Ice" features another quote:::And through the drifts the snowy clifts::Did send a dismal sheen:::Nor shapes of men nor beasts we ken--::the ice was all between
* In the computer game "Marathon Infinity", one of the levels is named "One thousand thousand slimy things", a line in the poem.
* The Ancient Mariner is set to appear as a figure in the game Horrorclixs Nightmares set.
* In the online computer game "Guild Wars" the opening lines of an NPC's dialogue, the NPC himself, and the name of the quest he is involved in all reference the poem and the author. Fact|date=November 2007
* In the online computer game "", in the city of Martok, there is an NPC (non-player character) Orc named Rolyat Leumas, the Ancient Seafarer of Martok. If the player questions him, he will tell the complete story of the "Rime of the Ancient Mariner", with minor modifications to make it appropriate to the game world. The character's name is "Samuel Taylor" spelled backward.

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