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Kubla Khan
Posted by: Jermanne Perry (144.50.52.---)
Date: October 30, 2000 07:35AM

I have many question regarding Coleridge. When he wrote Kuble Khan was he on drugs. Is it about please, traveling, pain? Is It a hoax?

RE: Kubla Khan
Posted by: Peter (
Date: October 30, 2000 03:53PM

Kubla Khan was written in summer 1797, though not published until 1816. He called it 'a fragment' and that 'with a good deal more, not recoverable (was) composed, in a sort of Reverie brought on by two grains of opium, taken to check a dysentery.'
It might be called an 'oriental' poem, and was based on travel books and oriental studies (Southey and Byron were also writing such poems). The actual poem carries a Preface which tells how, after dreaming that he had composed two or three hundred lines of poetry based upon a book by one Samuel Purchas, he woke from his reverie. He had just written down 54 lines of the extant poem when he was interrupted by a visitor. When he was able to get back to composing the poem he found he had forgotten the rest!!
Coleridge regarded it as a 'psychological curiosity', representing the pleasures and inspiration of opium-induced reverie.
I have taken the above from a university textbook, and I hope it goes some way to answering your questions?
Regards Peter

RE: Kubla Khan
Posted by: robert (
Date: October 30, 2000 07:56PM

I am trying to find a critique on this poem do you know where to get one.

RE: Kubla Khan
Posted by: Chesil (
Date: October 31, 2000 07:43AM

The date the poem was written does seem to be a matter for contention as does the story of the visitor from Porlock. For an interesting read on these issues take a look at:

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I don't think Byron's work was really about the Orient. He wasn't writing until many years after the claimed date for Kubla Khan and was inspired by his travels around south eastern Europe - Albania and Greece especially and much of what he wrote - The Giaour, Mazeppa and The Corsair, for example, were based on local stories.

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