Coleridge’s “Ancient Mariner” is Americanized for the Modern Reader in this Poetic Fantasy

A Yachtsman and his Crew Sail from Buffalo Across the Great Lakes Destined for Chicago. The Cruise Degenerates into a Philosophical Trip of Mythical Proportions.
Rime of the Modern Mariner
Rime of the Modern Mariner
Jan. 10, 2014 - PRLog -- Rime of the Modern Mariner is essentially an odyssey of the mind, which explores the philosophical tension between faith and reason. The verse is simple and sophisticated, suggestive of the virtuosity voiced in the dialog of Quentin Tarantino films. Thus, you might regard Rime as the “Pulp Fiction” of Poetry.

Is the Greater Good a worthy principle?  Can a criminal be guiltless? Is Nietzsche not dead?  Learn from the Mariner who admits he is “a skeptic quizzing every cause.”

The Mariner tells his tale to Sylvester, a flighty fellow susceptible to drugs and bouts of irrationality.  Sylvester lives with two others in a den on the shore of “an eerie inland sea,” Lake Erie near Buffalo, New York.

Behold the Mariner and his crew of five, including his lusty busty mate Priscilla. They sail on his famously named yacht “Shalott” to places real and imagined: like Pelee Point on Lake Erie where migrating butterflies perish during a storm; to dystopian Detroit on Devil’s Night, the glowing Apostle Islands in Lake Superior where a pontificating Stranger joins them, the Canadian Soo Lock at Christmas time; to celebratory Chicago on New Year’s Eve.

In the end, the Stranger and the crew depart via a gateway to an ethereal realm, the Mariner back to Buffalo where he entraps Sylvester who witnesses an utterly unique event – “the mother of surprises.”  After his life-changing experience, Sylvester becomes a new man, an “übermensch lite” so to speak, in accord with Nietzsche’s imperative.

Download your complimentary copy of Rime of the Modern Mariner: an American Odyssey on Amazon from January 10 - 14, 2013 by visiting

The front cover of the book displays a crow — the same bird integral to the 1994 supernatural action film “The Crow.” It is perched on the arm of a cross, a cross the Mariner confesses he must bear. The cross (Religion) and the crow (Science) are symbolic of the competition for the Mariner’s heart and mind and, ultimately, for Sylvester’s as well.

The first section of the book comprises 509 stanzas. The second section contains notes defining selected words and phrases. The third section displays a map of the Great Lakes showing places where critical events occurred during this modern American odyssey. The fourth and final “Genesis” section reveals circumstances that inspired the author to write the Rime (students of the creative process should appreciate this). The section finishes with a brief bio of the author.

Stephen Kryska’s book is now available in eBook and printBook format. See details including an excerpt from his poetic fantasy at

Did you know that you don’t need a Kindle to read a Kindle book? Learn how to read a Kindle eBook on virtually any device at

About the Author

Stephen Kryska is a native of Michigan. After a stint in the Air Force his creativity found expression in the advertising field. He retired as an information technologist. Now Stephen enjoys his golden years composing country and gospel songs, besides researching his Polish family history.

Keywords:  rime, mariner, odyssey, Great Lakes, Shalott, yacht, druggie, skeptic, Devil's Night, The Crow, Nietzsche, Übermensch, Ancient Mariner, albatross, wedding guest, philosophical trip, tripping, American Literature, English Literature, English Romanticism, Coleridge, speculative poetry

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