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  1. #1
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Default Can Someone Please Finish Writing This Poem Fragment?

    The poem is Kubla Khan by Samuel Coleridge: composed in a dream, it's writing interrupted by a fateful knock on the door by the man from Porlock, and never to be finished.

    Here's the fragment of Kubla Khan:

    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 here 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.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  2. #2
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    If anyone shows up who can write as well as Coleridge, they can give it a go. I don't think that's too likely.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilkRoad View Post
    If anyone shows up who can write as well as Coleridge, they can give it a go. I don't think that's too likely.
    Just make something up and improve on it later. This fragment is introductory to a long epic typical of Coleridge. It introduces the location of the poem, and some of the main characters, at least by name: Kubla, the Abyssinian Maid, and the wizard with flashing eyes. Basically that's all there is to that part.

    The next question is, where was Coleridge going with this? A love triangle, and a plot to conquer Japan foiled by the wizard who was in love with Kubla's Abyssinian Maid. It works out well in the end for the wizard.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    I've been reading this article on the poem (Wiki of course...)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kubla_Khan

    While reading this article, with its theories about the meaning of this poem, sometimes I just want to yell BULLSHIT! At other times, I just mumble "bullshit... bullshit..." as I read from paragraph to paragraph.

    This epic poem's themes are basically two: sex, and violence, with a little digression into the value of opium as an analgesic and intoxicant. How do I get that? The first two are obvious from the fragment. Every line of the poem is steeped in symbolic sexual imagery. The Abyssinian Maid serves as a source of inspiration - but that inspiration, in reality, was the opiate which induced the sleep that produced Coleridge's dream.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  5. #5

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    I know this poem, and I like it, although I like Abou Ben Adhem or Abdul abul bu amir (I saw the cartoon growing up) better. Just my taste. I also like songs of sour dow too, the cremation of sam magee. And everyone likes If and Desiderata, so that's a kind of given.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I know this poem, and I like it, although I like Abou Ben Adhem or Abdul abul bu amir (I saw the cartoon growing up) better. Just my taste. I also like songs of sour dow too, the cremation of sam magee. And everyone likes If and Desiderata, so that's a kind of given.
    Yes, Coleridge is long-winded. But this poem started out so well.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  7. #7
    Senior Member Mal12345's Avatar
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    From Wiki: "One theory says that Kubla Khan is about poetry and the two sections discuss two types of poems."



    Why can't they just keep it simple?

    Kubla Khan is about having a wild dream, waking up, and writing down the words to a poem composed during the dream. The dream consisted of a wildly fantastical story set in the Far East. There's nothing deep about it, just the usual sex and violence. The story itself is very simple. The wizard tells Kubla that the stars foretell good weather for a Japanese invasion. The invading fleet is then sunk by a typhoon. The wizard predicted the typhoon but lied about it so he could acquire Kubla's mistress for himself.
    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth." Mike Tyson
    “Culture?” says Paul McCartney. “This isn't culture. It's just a good laugh.”

  8. #8
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    It's totally plausible, though, if you know more about STC than "romantic poet." He was more of a philosopher and theorist than a poet. I don't find it at all hard to believe that his dream led to thoughts about the goals and genesis of different types of poetry.

  9. #9
    Strongly Ambivalent Ivy's Avatar
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    As for why they can't just keep it simple- the Romantic poets didn't keep it simple. They were all about layers of meaning and the most esoteric philosophy they could muster up.

  10. #10
    Lay the coin on my tongue SilkRoad's Avatar
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    I've never felt that the poem is necessarily incomplete in itself. I know about the person from Porlock and so on, but if I have understood correctly, Coleridge had a dream, but it wasn't like he composed the poem IN THE DREAM. He woke up, started writing a poem about the dream, and then the interruption happened and he realised he'd forgotten the rest of the dream. So he wrote and completely the poem based on what he remembered.

    I'm not sure if it is known for certain how all this played out. Coleridge didn't just write very long epic poems like the Ancient Mariner, though. I think Frost at Midnight, another of his great poems, is of a similar length to Kubla Khan.

    Incidentally, it is more than likely that the guy with flashing eyes and floating hair in the final section is Coleridge himself. He'd been taking opium, so he'd on honeydew fed and drunk the milk of paradise.
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