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Coleridge's "Kubla Khan" in Limerick

Discussion in 'General Discussion / Off Topic' started by Harte, Aug 9, 2017.

  1. Harte

    Harte Senior Member

    Mar 24, 2005
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    Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, revisited.

    When the Khan into Xanadu came,
    He figured that he'd up his game.
    So a dome he decreed
    and between you and me
    the region was never the same.

    His construct was ten miles across.
    It was walls, with high towers embossed.
    There rich earth was found
    and beneath, underground,
    The river called Alph turned and tossed.

    Within he built gardens complete.
    And his trees all had foliage sweet.
    Also, naturally,
    there were forest with trees
    that were centuries old, in the least.

    Access to the underground stream
    could be had through a chasm serene.
    Located within
    the walls, and therein
    could be found the idylls of a dream.

    For the chasm so eldritch and cool,
    led to Alph, flowing there like a jewel.
    Here the Alph was quite wild
    as by company riled
    ere it ran, further down, to a pool.

    At the base of the chasm the Khan
    had the source of a fountain he spawned.
    On his order, his men
    forced the stream up, and then,
    through the fountain like primeval dawn.

    The water, on reaching the font,
    bolted out of the top with a jaunt.
    And great shapes did it make
    While it quivered and quaked
    through the air as it sprayed so gallant.

    When the dance of the water was through,
    the stream formed from it sweet as the dew.
    And the Alph once again
    on the surface it ran
    for five miles,then was lost down a flue.

    Those five miles, though, were filled with ethereal
    scenes of bucolic material.
    Ancient forests serene
    and lush grasses of green
    fit for such persons imperial.

    So beloved did the Khan hold these scenes
    that he went there quite often to dream.
    Thereupon he did hear
    sounds of voices quite near
    and they came from the babbling stream.

    Voices both ancient and faint
    a horrible future did paint.
    It were war they foresaw
    as they came from the maw
    of the chasm so charming and quaint.

    The Khan the sounds put in a dream
    as he listened there next to the stream.
    His dome it did float
    near the shore like a boat
    on a sea that the alph fed, it seemed.

    Put in mind an Abyssinian maid
    that for Khan had the dulcimer played.
    He wished he could recall
    the song that enthralled
    him. Her beauty, though, never would fade.

    "With music of that sort," he mused,
    "my pleasure-dome gardens infused"
    "they would float in the air
    like that fair maiden's hair
    And forever in it I'd recluse."

    At this with one thought he was struck.
    If a stranger should have enough luck
    to stumble on his dream scene
    quaking fear he would glean
    from the vision of glory amok.

    As warning, all strangers would cry
    "Beware the cold flash of his eye!
    And his wild flowing hair!"
    And everyone there
    would cast spells of protection, or die.

    Thrice round him the pagans would weave
    circles profane and then grieve
    for their lack of such stature,
    and unreachable rapture
    so palpable, never achieved.

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  2. heka2015

    heka2015 Member

    Nov 23, 2015
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    Nicely done, I assume your creation?
    You got it going everywhere.
    I knew who Kubla Kahn was, didn't know about the poem.
    Nice idea.(y)

    Currently trying to digest the poetic edda.


    1. Hearing I ask | from the holy races,
    From Heimdall's sons, | both high and low;
    Thou wilt, Valfather, | that well I relate
    Old tales I remember | of men long ago.

    2. I remember yet | the giants of yore,
    Who gave me bread | in the days gone by;
    Nine worlds I knew, | the nine in the tree
    With mighty roots | beneath the mold.

    3. Of old was the age | when Ymir lived;
    Sea nor cool waves | nor sand there were;
    Earth had not been, | nor heaven above,
    But a yawning gap, | and grass nowhere.

    4. Then Bur's sons lifted | the level land,
    Mithgarth the mighty | there they made;
    The sun from the south | warmed the stones of earth,
    And green was the ground | with growing leeks.

    5. The sun, the sister | of the moon, from the south
    Her right hand cast | over heaven's rim;
    No knowledge she had | where her home should be,
    The moon knew not | what might was his,
    The stars knew not | where their stations were.

    6. Then sought the gods | their assembly-seats,
    The holy ones, | and council held;
    Names then gave they | to noon and twilight,
    Morning they named, | and the waning moon,
    Night and evening, | the years to number.

    7. At Ithavoll met | the mighty gods,
    Shrines and temples | they timbered high;
    Forges they set, and | they smithied ore,
    Tongs they wrought, | and tools they fashioned.

    8. In their dwellings at peace | they played at tables,
    Of gold no lack | did the gods then know,--
    Till thither came | up giant-maids three,
    Huge of might, | out of Jotunheim.

    Edit: You have made me read the original too.thx
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2017
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  3. TimeFlipper

    TimeFlipper Senior Member Premium

    Feb 8, 2015
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    I think i prefer, Ode To The Worm :LOL:..

    Nobody like me everybody hates me, i think i`ll go and eat worms
    Big fat juicy ones little tiny skinny ones, see them wriggle and squirm..

    Bite their heads off suck their juice, then throw their skins away
    Nobody knows how much i love my worms three times a day :D..
    heka2015, TnWatchdog and Harte like this.

  4. Harte

    Harte Senior Member

    Mar 24, 2005
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    Now give it to me in a limerick. :D

  5. heka2015

    heka2015 Member

    Nov 23, 2015
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    Don't judge me too hard, I am way out of my ballpark. X_x
    Nevertheless I gave it a try.

    VOLUSPO 1-9

    1.) Hearing I ask, from the holy of races,
    from Heimdall's boys, omnipresent in all of the places.
    You shriveld Valfather, I get you right there,
    the old tales I recall, good stuff we can share.
    Remember those fellas, the utmost of bravest, long gone they are now, in the mist of the maces.

    2.) Hark back I do, to the giants of yore,
    who gave me some chew in the days of the lore,
    Nine worlds, all mould in a tree,
    Roots almighty, perfect to wee,
    The problem, my bladder, I couldn't hold more, but most of those giants screamed shotgun long fore,

    3.) Of old was the age, and space was not honed, when Ymir the dude once happily roamed.
    No ocean in sight, not surfing quite right, and what bothered the most, not stoned.
    The beaches and sun were activly lacking,
    with Earth and the Heavens also been slacking,
    the dude was still missing, the portended blessing, for weed to get finally cloned.

    4.) In all of that rush, Bur's sons got it flush, to finally level the sand,
    Mithgarth has been cast, with might it will last, made simply with their bare hand,
    the Sun from the south, warmed stones of the Earth,
    greening the ground with the greatest of mirth,
    And lastly it's here, and Yimir allotted, to grow his green on thy land

    5.) The Sun had a brother, moons sister she was, down south he shows patience, not bothered at all.
    She's casting her way, bright clearly and sway, tumbling down on her right hand fall.
    No knowledge she had, of her own homestead,
    her brother the moon, had also no bed.
    And worse, seems strangely to be true. There are no stars, out in the blue. Oh crap I said and realized all, they ARE still waiting down the hall!

    6.) At last, but not least, we are looking for gods, resembling the sacred board.
    The holy ones, the council I mean, with all the power at horde.
    The noon got its naming, the moon set off waning,
    and claiming is morning, the twilight as reign.
    Though in the end, with not much to spend, the evening with night has been soared

    7.) Sometimes they DO meet, the fearsome of gods, in middle of Ithavolls shrines.
    Where temples rise high, and forges are set, to smithy the best of the mines.
    Nice tools and tongs, they carefully normed,
    from ugly to pretty all beautifully formed.
    So WE all the sheeples, WE the common people, get all we deserve from devines.

    8.) And when they were bored, peace all annoying, they started on tables the gambling and toying.
    Of gold, no lack there was indeed, with all the sheeples needless deeds, of course, all aware and constant knowing,
    until Jotunheims ladys, three were of 'em,
    all clearly focused, came down for them.
    Huge might they had, and I have to mention the added attention, as the girls turned extremly easygoing and openly showing.

  6. Harte

    Harte Senior Member

    Mar 24, 2005
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    You need a little practice, I'd say! LOL
    Here: Limerick (poetry) - Wikipedia

    Reads a little bit like Robert W. Service, I think, which is not a bad thing at all.

  7. heka2015

    heka2015 Member

    Nov 23, 2015
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  8. Harte

    Harte Senior Member

    Mar 24, 2005
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    A short one by Service, for those who don't know him:

    I haled me a woman from the street,
    Shameless, but, oh, so fair!
    I bade her sit in the model's seat
    And I painted her sitting there.

    I hid all trace of her heart unclean;
    I painted a babe at her breast;
    I painted her as she might have been
    If the Worst had been the Best.

    She laughed at my picture and went away.
    Then came, with a knowing nod,
    A connoisseur, and I heard him say;
    "'Tis Mary, the Mother of God."

    So I painted a halo round her hair,
    And I sold her and took my fee,
    And she hangs in the church of Saint Hillaire,
    Where you and all may see.

    His best work I think:

    Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee, where the cotton blooms and blows.
    Why he left his home in the South to roam 'round the Pole, God only knows.
    He was always cold, but the land of gold seemed to hold him like a spell;
    Though he'd often say in his homely way that he'd "sooner live in hell".

    On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way over the Dawson trail.
    Talk of your cold! through the parka's fold it stabbed like a driven nail.
    If our eyes we'd close, then the lashes froze till sometimes we couldn't see;
    It wasn't much fun, but the only one to whimper was Sam McGee.

    And that very night, as we lay packed tight in our robes beneath the snow,
    And the dogs were fed, and the stars o'erhead were dancing heel and toe,
    He turned to me, and "Cap," says he, "I'll cash in this trip, I guess;
    And if I do, I'm asking that you won't refuse my last request."

    Well, he seemed so low that I couldn't say no; then he says with a sort of moan:
    "It's the cursed cold, and it's got right hold till I'm chilled clean through to the bone.
    Yet 'tain't being dead -- it's my awful dread of the icy grave that pains;
    So I want you to swear that, foul or fair, you'll cremate my last remains."

    A pal's last need is a thing to heed, so I swore I would not fail;
    And we started on at the streak of dawn; but God! he looked ghastly pale.
    He crouched on the sleigh, and he raved all day of his home in Tennessee;
    And before nightfall a corpse was all that was left of Sam McGee.

    There wasn't a breath in that land of death, and I hurried, horror-driven,
    With a corpse half hid that I couldn't get rid, because of a promise given;
    It was lashed to the sleigh, and it seemed to say:
    "You may tax your brawn and brains,
    But you promised true, and it's up to you to cremate those last remains."

    Now a promise made is a debt unpaid, and the trail has its own stern code.
    In the days to come, though my lips were dumb, in my heart how I cursed that load.
    In the long, long night, by the lone firelight, while the huskies, round in a ring,
    Howled out their woes to the homeless snows -- O God! how I loathed the thing.

    And every day that quiet clay seemed to heavy and heavier grow;
    And on I went, though the dogs were spent and the grub was getting low;
    The trail was bad, and I felt half mad, but I swore I would not give in;
    And I'd often sing to the hateful thing, and it hearkened with a grin.

    Till I came to the marge of Lake Lebarge, and a derelict there lay;
    It was jammed in the ice, but I saw in a trice it was called the "Alice May".
    And I looked at it, and I thought a bit, and I looked at my frozen chum;
    Then "Here," said I, with a sudden cry, "is my cre-ma-tor-eum."

    Some planks I tore from the cabin floor, and I lit the boiler fire;
    Some coal I found that was lying around, and I heaped the fuel higher;
    The flames just soared, and the furnace roared -- such a blaze you seldom see;
    And I burrowed a hole in the glowing coal, and I stuffed in Sam McGee.

    Then I made a hike, for I didn't like to hear him sizzle so;
    And the heavens scowled, and the huskies howled, and the wind began to blow.
    It was icy cold, but the hot sweat rolled down my cheeks, and I don't know why;
    And the greasy smoke in an inky cloak went streaking down the sky.

    I do not know how long in the snow I wrestled with grisly fear;
    But the stars came out and they danced about ere again I ventured near;
    I was sick with dread, but I bravely said: "I'll just take a peep inside.
    I guess he's cooked, and it's time I looked"; . . . then the door I opened wide.

    And there sat Sam, looking cool and calm, in the heart of the furnace roar;
    And he wore a smile you could see a mile, and he said: "Please close that door.
    It's fine in here, but I greatly fear you'll let in the cold and storm --
    Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee, it's the first time I've been warm."

    Wanted to limericise this one, but I just didn't have the heart. It's too good as is.

    heka2015 likes this.
  9. heka2015

    heka2015 Member

    Nov 23, 2015
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    Well, we wouldn't really lose the real one, would we.
    Give it a try and post it, and if its not good we burn the servers down.
    Your heart hopefully recovers afterwards.

    Never heard of doing this, before i've seen yours.
    Is this something popular?
  10. Harte

    Harte Senior Member

    Mar 24, 2005
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    I started working on a limericized Poe (the Raven,) but I left off of it about halfway through. That one was harder than I'd imagined. I'll pick back up on it sometime - it's only been a couple of years now.