A rather short entry for letter X. But since the post describes beauty and inner peace, the fewer words the better.
What is Xanadu?
An idyllic, beautiful place poet Samuel Tyler Coleridge saw in a dream, which drove him to write “Kubla Khan,” an imaginative composition.
The poem is a piece of art in every respect, even though only a fragment of a longer work Coleridge had planned to write. We are left to regret the knock on the door, which erased the rest of the poem from his mind. As it exists, however, the poem is a perfect representation of verse attributed to mystery in dream.
As is the case with art in early stages, critics denounced “Kubla Khan” as incomprehensible, “a composition of sound rather than sense.” Not until years later, did the poem receive due recognition and admiration for its literary meaning: mankind (a tyrant who imposes his will on his people) set against natural beauty.
And so what started with a dream prompted by the poet’s reading of the Purchas’ 17th century travel book, Purchas his Pilgrimage, and a fix of opium taken before he fell asleep, became a state of mind, a “place of beauty and contentment.”
Here is a fragment. I hope you enjoy it.
Kubla Khan (Partial)
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…..
It was a miracle of rare device, A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!