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  • Opium

    Opium


    As Xanadu in words of flame

    crackled through the poet's brain

    papered quill spread oak-gall's stain,

    while thought carried on in train

    to render up a pipe-dream.

    "Sunless Sea," just penned

    remained unsanded, interrupted

    when the man from Porlock came

    and went . . . and with him Kublai Khan.

  • #2
    Familiar, of course, and the rhythm fit! Good beginning and I think it splits nicely in half, sort of reverberating there. And I get subtle hints of humor, and the reality here...
    Your characteristic style of pithy observation nested in tight rhythms and tonal qualities, the dryness, the turns.
    Well rounded, complete. ::going to look up that Porlock now:: Be well!

    Comment


    • Johntee
      Johntee commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks amenOra, it's a village near a cottage Coleridge had taken for the purpose of undisturbed writing, away from the hurly-burly of town and society. It is in coastal Somerset on the Bristol Channel. Its more recent claim to fame is from the interwar motor sport of hill-climbs, a test of engine. gearing. clutch and driver.
      Last edited by Johntee; 09-04-2018, 07:13 AM.

  • #3
    You're on a bit of literary referencing streak, I see, Johntee. Now we are with Coleridge, who with this bit of stage scenery wants to loom a seer. But he's just a stoner, hence the figleaf Porlockian.

    I mean, where to go beyond 'the milk of Paradise'? Only an awkward silence, punctuated by a creaking chair leg, a cough here, a sniffle there - or was that a snicker?

    Comment


    • Johntee
      Johntee commented
      Editing a comment
      This one was entirely fortuitous, when, in a library writing group, another said she'd had a poem interrupted that produced a thing of two halves, unable to recover the train of thought. That suggested Xanadu with its terrific first verse. I'm worse than that, having to immediately write down words in case of critical loss. Then I have to try to jigsaw what I've come up with together, into some coherence.
      Last edited by Johntee; 09-04-2018, 07:14 AM.

    • grant hayes
      grant hayes commented
      Editing a comment
      I can relate to the risk of critical loss and the jigsaw method of composition. Unlike you, I am typically defeated by the 'coherence' phase.

      I've always found 'Kubla Khan' to be a bit of a letdown; beautifully worded, and exuberantly imagined, but all surface - like special effects in a film with a nowhere plotline. I think the Porlockian was conceived by Coleridge to make this poem's cul-de-sac more interesting. Perhaps I need a Porlock too.

  • #4
    I liked the title Johntee.

    Comment


    • Johntee
      Johntee commented
      Editing a comment
      Perhaps, like perfume, it sucked you in.
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