Frank Poems: KUBLA KHAN’T

British Museum: Manuscript of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's 'Kubla Khan'

(Coleridge and the “visitor from Porlock”)

Where was I? … Ah, yes! … Kubla Khan…
Xanadu… something and song…
The River Alf… a pleasure dome…
I wish that fellow had never come…

Caverns measureless to man…
Where a sacred river ran…
Abyssinian maid… Mount Abora…
Where on earth did that come from?!

I should have said I wasn’t home.
Caves of ice… A mighty fountain…
It’s strange how opium affects the brain.
I hope he doesn’t come again.

A dulcimer and caves of ice…
And drinking milk from paradise…
All very nice, but then? Then what?!
I should have kept the front door locked.

Then what? I haven’t got a clue!
Damn holy dread and honey dew!
Damn that fellow and damn Porlock!
Damn waning moon and Xanadu!
Damn demon lover! Damn the lot!

Half a poem won’t earn much money.
Ah well! Dot and Bill

might find it funny.


"House by the Railroad," Edward Hopper, 1925


2 thoughts on “Frank Poems: KUBLA KHAN’T

    1. While writing Kubla Khan, after dreaming the poem under the influence of opium, Coleridge was allegedly interrupted by a visitor from the town of Porlock in Somerset. And then he couldn’t remember the rest.

      There’s a suspicion, however, that he invented the “visitor from Porlock” as an excuse for not being able to finish the poem!

      Best wishes

      PS: Dot and Bill are Coleridge’s friends, Dorothy and William Wordsworth.

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