Poem introduction

Coleridge’s great narrative poem, one of the greatest poems in the English language, as it suggests in the title of ‘Ballad’, a wonderful phantasmagoric mix which has sort of resisted complete explanation or analysis for centuries and centuries and this is actually one of the most mysterious parts of it, part five, in which the mariner’s penitence begins to be elaborated and served.

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Over the years I’ve become increasingly interested in the lyrical nature of poetry. I find that the more I’ve taken in...

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