Xanadu #atozchallenge


This is my X from 2013 with some additions — sorry about the repeat — and a favorite entry and word: Xanadu, the epitome of inner peace.

What is Xanadu?

An idyllic place poet Samuel Tyler Coleridge saw in a dream, which drove him to write Kubla Khan, an imaginative composition.



Only one fragment made it from Coleridge’s dream on paper; and we are left to regret the knock on the door which erased the rest of the poem from his mind. As it exists, the poem is a representation of verse attributed to mystery in dream.

Critics denounced Kubla Khan as a composition of sound rather than sense. As is often the case, years later the poem received recognition for its literary meaning:  mankind (a tyrant who imposes his will on people) set against natural beauty.

Coleridge, we learn, was influenced by a 17th century travel book and by opium taken before he fell asleep. Hence Xanadu was born — a state of mind, a place of beauty and contentment.

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!


Talk about miracles, we’re nearing the end of the Challenge!


Images: musenmotivation.wordpress honeygrove


25 responses to “Xanadu #atozchallenge

  1. May you reach Xanadu with the end of the Challenge! Beautiful!

  2. Hi Silvia – I love the poem Xanadu – and learnt that Coleridge wrote it in Devon … near Culbone Church: that is a tiny church … and I made a note of its landscape … which today I can imagine feeling as I read the poem. Cheers Hilary

  3. Xanadu was a perfect choice, Silvia! We all struggle with the dreaded X, but yes, we’re nearly through the 2016 Challenge!!! 💕💕

  4. I gave up on an X! It’s nice to see the finish line this year!
    I remember reading this poem, coming to the end and thinking “I want more -where’s the rest?”

  5. It was lovely to recall those words Silvia thank you! And for the background to it. Yes it is an extraordinary poem – I’ve heard it said before he was high on opium when he wrote it, as in a dream.

  6. I love saying the word Xanadu . . . A lovely post for a tough X day! Cheers, D

  7. Wow! I got to know something new today. Had no idea about Xanadu..I wonder how the entire Kubla Khan would have been, had there been no knock on his door…
    Its unbelievable that we are almost nearing the end of the challenge.. Just 2 more left and its done! :)

  8. I think poetry needs to be more emotional than logical. So, in that, this succeeds.

  9. Wonderful choice. I’d forgotten how many expressions are taken from phrases in this poem.

  10. Very interesting, Silvia. Sorry I was so late in joining the conversations.

  11. My word! He dreamed of Yosemite Valley, and therein, Half Dome…! :-)

    Thank you, Silvia. I love that poem It IS musical.

  12. What a magical piece this is. Loved it :)
    Thank you for sharing Silvia.

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