Philip Hoare summarises why this poem is so important.
It is not despite but because of its narcotic wildness that The Rime became one of the most referenced works of poetry ever. From Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, to Fleetwood Mac, Iron Maiden and Public Image Ltd’s “Albatross” – a screech of post-punk angst sung by John Lydon – it is the one poem that almost everyone can quote. Lines including “All creatures great and small” and “Water, water, everywhere” have become part of the lexicon.
via Jason Kottke