Sunday, July 7, 2013

Coleridge - Poetry

The next poem in the book is Samuel Taylor Coleridge's 'Kubla Khan'.  The story goes that Coleridge was woken from an opium dream and immediately wrote this down.  The whole thing is a bit long for a blog post, but you can find it here.  If you haven't read it before, I'd encourage you to do so, the whole thing is excellent.  This is the first part:

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 sinous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

Who wouldn't want to visit that pleasure-dome?  Doesn't it sound lovely?  Ancient forests and blossoming incence trees.  Walls and towers and gardens with rillls of water.  Wish I could go there tomorrow.
The anecdote about the opium is intriguing.  Many people have noted the connection between drug use and creativity.  Even beside the heavy stuff, caffeine and nicotine both seem to boost creative types.  I don't know if that's enough to outweight the negatives, but it's food for thought.

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