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"Kubla Khan" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (read by Tom O'Bedlam)

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Published on Sep 28, 2009

Kubla Khan was written in 1798, according to Coleridge, but it was first published in 1816. (It was one of my first submissions, but now I have a better microphone and better sound processing technique, so I thought I'd do it again. )

Coleridge was addicted to laudanum which brought him visions and agonies with constipation which he thought of as retribution. Laudanum addiction was common because people resorted to it to relieve toothache, which was a part of everyday life in those days.

He told the story that the poem came to him in dream and he wrote it down on waking, but lost the remainder when he was interrupted by a "visitor from Porlock". However this story has been disproved because earlier draughts have been discovered. Actually I haven't checked the facts, this is just what I remember.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kubla_Khan

Other recitals of the poem can be found here:
http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/pr...
http://librivox.org/kubla-khan-by-sam...

The picture of the girl is mid 19th century and anonymous, but she is not Abyssinian nor is her instrument a Dulcimer.

The picture is of Brighton Pavilion which was rebuilt as a "Dome of Pleasure" by George IV at about the time of the poem: one might have influenced the other - who knows?

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