Escapes

Q:

The Best Adventure Poems: 'Rime of the Ancient Mariner'

Statue of the ancient mariner in Somerset, England via Shutterstock     Photo: David Hughes

A:He prayeth well, who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.
—Samuel Taylor Coleridge

This classic story tells the tale of a sailor whose ship experiences all sorts of bad luck after he kills an albatross near Antarctica. The crew forces him to wear the rotting bird around his neck because of his deed. Everyone on the ship then dies of thirst, except for him.

He’s eventually rescued, but spends the rest of his life wandering the earth, paying penance by telling everyone he encounters about the fate that befell him for thinking that he could callously plunder nature.  Talk about a powerful environmental message. And written in the 1790s, no less.

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