The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner By Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Analysis (Form and Meter)
Lyrical Ballad, Rhyming Quatrains
First and foremost, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is one of the best representatives of the English ballad tradition. A ballad is not just a kind of song that people slow-dance to with the lights dimmed. No, in poetry terms, it's a kind of poem that tells some kind of narrative or story, often a lengthy one.
This poem was included in the collection titled Lyrical Ballads published by Coleridge and William Wordsworth in 1798. Unlike some of the other works in the book, this one is actually more ballad than lyric. The phrase "lyrical ballad" was supposed to signal the authors' intention to smoosh together two different genres: the lyric, dedicated to personal experience and emotion ("Ah, it's a dark and dreary day in…