Tuesday, June 29, 2010

ABC Wednesday

The letter X

X is for Xanadu
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 with 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!

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, an excerpt

lKubla Khan is a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, completed in 1797 and published in Christabel, Kubla Khan, and the Pains of Sleep in 1816. According to Coleridge's "Preface" to Kubla Khan, the poem was composed one night after he experienced an opium influenced dream after reading a work describing the Tartar king, Kublai Khan.. Upon waking, he set about writing lines of poetry that came to him from the dream until he was interrupted by an individual from Porlock. The poem could not be completed according to its original 200-300 line plan as the interruption caused him to forget the lines. Although the specific details of Coleridge's "Preface" are debatable, he most likely composed Kubla Khan during autumn 1797 and let it lay unpublished and kept to private readings until 1816 when, on the prompting by George Gordon Byron, it was made available to the public. - from Wikipedia

In modern times the poem inspired a 1980 romantic musical directed by Robert Greenwood and starring Olivia Newton John, Michael Beck and Gene Kelly.  XANADU is the Chinese province where Khan established his enchanted pleasure garden.

For other takes on the letter X, well X marks the spot where you should hop over to ABC Wednesday.


Sylvia K said...

Our minds were definitely in the same place today!! Love your post for the X day! Enjoy!


photowannabe said...

Thank you for posting the saying of Samuel Colleridge. Its fascinating. Great information about the origins.

RuneE said...

That was an interesting variation. And a warning to stay away from opium lest you forget a master poem :-)

Hood Photo Blog said...

X is a hard letter in the theme, but you found a great example! Have a good rest of the week :)

Hood Photo Blog

Roger Owen Green said...

2 XEROX, 2 xenophobia (inc. mine) and two pictures of the lovely Olivia Newton-John in the first 15 posts. X IS hard!

Very informative, especially about the poem.

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Anna said...

Thank you for sharing this. I read it with great interest and pleasure!
Beautiful garden photography by the way! I have had a hard time keeping up with (and taking pictures of) all the flowering plants in the neighbourhood before they wilt!
Best wishes,

Anna's X-words

Cheryl said...

Thank you for the excerpt of the lovely poem. The photo was brilliant.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Lovely to read your post and a great choice for today. Coleridge lived in a village not too far from where I live, from 1797 to 1800, and Porlock is just down the road from there! A x

Hildred and Charles said...

That's very interesting Anne. I wonder who it was who came from Porlock and interrupted this fanciful tale?

Farmers are picking strawberries here in the Similkameen these days and I was thinking about you and wondering if you are making jam! As I should be...

Grace and Bradley said...

I have never known the origin of Xanadu and its real meaning and location in China. Amazing!

Jay said...

I've never read this one, though I (along with many others) can quote you those first few lines. So romantic and evocative, aren't they?

lv2scpbk said...

Love the photo. On behalf of the ABC Wed. team, thanks for participating. Barb

Joy said...

The palace photo is stunning, looks as though KK could still be there trapped in time. The Xanadu poem is perfect for X.

Beverley Baird said...

I couldn't remember who had written Xanandu! Thanks for refreshing my memory.
Great post and photos!

ChrisJ said...

A beautiful post. I had forgotten about Xanadu. I haven't read this poem for a long while. I know I have a copy among all my poetry book, I will have to look it up.