The Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge About this poet

An experiment: Yan Masterson animates a tiny section of Coleridge’s poem, using Dore’s illustrations.
The poem is read by Richard Burton.
Animating drawings is a labour of love, time consuming and therefore very expensive. Do you think it works in the case of the Ancient Mariner and do you feel it would worth doing another 20 minutes of the poem? We’d like to hear your views before we embark on a rather expensive venture.

Length: 0:17m   Topics: The Romantics, Guilt, Nature, Poems with Film or Animation,
21 comments – see below
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Jan | 21 January 2010

I love this poem, Dore’s engravings and Richard Burton’s voice.  I would be very happy to see the whole thing, but without the sound effects in the background.  Coleridge’s words and Burton’s voice are quite enough to conjure up the atmosphere: additional sounds just serve as a distraction.


katherine | 26 January 2010

This is one of my favourite poems to read. It has been presented beautifully here. Richard Burton is the perfect choice to read it and the drawings are wonderful. I thought the sound effects perfect and added to the whole effect

I think this is an ideal way of presenting poetry, especailly the classics, to children and young people. They are accustomed to animation and visual presentation, while often thinking reading poetry is stuffy and boring, never giving the poetry book a chance.
Presented this way it would appeal to them, and enable them to grow to enjoy poetry, I am sure.


Ailsa | 12 February 2010

Richard Burton as narrator is an excellent choice. Whilst some animation is necessary to grasp and hold the attention of today’s image-savvy children, I am not sure that it needs to be a sophisticated version which eats up money. The beauty is in the writing and in the verbal delivery; the images are minutely conjured up in our own imagination as they should be. Save on the expensive images, deliver the text with the roaring ocean and the mind’s eye will provide the rest. Then, give us other poetsto meet and relish.


ss | 13 February 2010

I was searching for exactly this type of presentation just last week, to supplement lessons on The Ancient Mariner.  Yes, please, let’s have the whole poem!


Julia Madgwick | 16 February 2010

Yes definitely, please do it all, this snippet is tantalising!


Conor Murray | 17 February 2010

That was amazing, yes, definitely do more!


Vivienne Woodhead | 18 February 2010

I vote yes.


Lindy Barbour | 18 February 2010

I loved hearing Richard Burton and the animation of Dore is wonderful-think it would be very popular with schools and much appreciated generally. Are there any Dore illustrations to Kubla Khan?


NJ | 18 February 2010

I think the animation is terrific.  Most people are no longer familiar with masted ships, so the images add to our sense of the world within which the poem is happening (the aerial view of the ropes a sailor walks on, for example, is spine-tingling) and become part of the storytelling.  They don’t supplant the words, but enhance it.

But remove the sound effects!  They’re distracting and a bit cheesy. If you must use sound do so sparingly—a single bird call (what does an albatross sound like?), a sound of something hitting the deck—but avoid continuous sound.


Just John | 18 February 2010

Loved it, having seen the wonderful effect of the animated Shakespeare series (BBC) on my own children,  I think this would be a huge success in schools and personally I think the combination is beautiful. Hope you can fund it.


English teacher | 28 February 2010

Would be great to have an animated version of Richard Burton’s famous and powerful performance of this. As another poster suggests, maybe make it a little simpler to save money. But I’d definitely use it in the classroom.


bernadette sweeney | 25 March 2010

Yes please…do the whole poem. I would definitely use it in class.


Graham | 30 April 2010

Would be wonderful to hear the whole poem. Burton’s voice alone is sufficient but by all means add animation if budget allows.


Nina Serrano | 24 October 2010

Yes! Perhaps do a simpler animation (less time consuming - less images- less $$ ). Richard Burton’s reading and the poem itself are very strong and don’t need much elaboration. Thank you for this litte snippet that makes me want more….
Oakland CA/USA


Nick | 7 June 2011

This is a fantastic animation and is certainly strong enough to carry the entire poem.
Have you considered launching a kickstarter for the project. Get fans to donate to part-fund the project.


Isaac David Haymes | 28 June 2012

Yes, yes, yes! I wish we could have more of this kind of imaginative approach to poetry on television or the net. The current Shakespeare season on the BBC could have benefited from similar creative illustration of the Sonnets.


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