Kubla Khan-by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

  • Sierra Rae
    16 years ago

    I found this poem-and it's so amazing and brilliant to me that I wanted to post it. The thing is-no one can ever agree on what it is actually about. It was written nearly 200 years ago while the author was having an "opium vision" and he never told anyone what it was about. I just wanted to post it and see what some other people think about it-or what you think it means. I'll post my opinion later if some other people do. It just kinda caught my attention for some reason so, here it is!

    Kubla Khan
    by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

    In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
    A stately pleasure-dome decree :
    Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
    Through caverns measureless to man
    Down to a sunless sea.
    So twice five miles of fertile ground
    With walls and towers were girdled round :
    And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
    Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree ;
    And here were forests ancient as the hills,
    Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

    But oh ! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
    Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover !
    A savage place ! as holy and enchanted
    As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
    By woman wailing for her demon-lover !
    And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
    As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
    A mighty fountain momently was forced :
    Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
    Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
    Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail :
    And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
    It flung up momently the sacred river.
    Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
    Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
    Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
    And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean :
    And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
    Ancestral voices prophesying war !
    The shadow of the dome of pleasure
    Floated midway on the waves ;
    Where was heard the mingled measure
    From the fountain and the caves.
    It was a miracle of rare device,
    A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice !

    A damsel with a dulcimer
    In a vision once I saw :
    It was an Abyssinian maid,
    And on her dulcimer she played,
    Singing of Mount Abora.
    Could I revive within me
    Her symphony and song,
    To such a deep delight 'twould win me,
    That with music loud and long,
    I would build that dome in air,
    That sunny dome ! those caves of ice !
    And all who heard should see them there,
    And all should cry, Beware ! Beware !
    His flashing eyes, his floating hair !
    Weave a circle round him thrice,
    And close your eyes with holy dread,
    For he on honey-dew hath fed,
    And drunk the milk of Paradise.

  • FTS Miles
    16 years ago

    He also never finished it. While writing it--in his opiated haze--he was visited by a friend. The friend stayed long enough that he not only lost the high, but lost the poem. Hence what we have is a mere fraction of what he had intended, what he had envisioned in his opium dream. I've always felt it was a sad loss to literature to have not seen its final form.

    But its start is nonetheless magnificent, eh?