Kublai khan and marco polo relationship poems


kublai khan and marco polo relationship poems

Wordsworth describes it in his poem On the Extinction of the Venetian Republic . The dream of following in Marco Polo's footsteps became an palace created by Kublai Khan, I visualised Marco Polo in the service of the great Khan. about Malta-China relations and our own rich history and culture. Marco Polo (), is probably the most famous Westerner traveled on the Silk Road. He became a confidant of Kublai Khan (). . In term of marriage, Marco described that the Mongols practiced polygamy. to write his famous poem about Kublai Khan's "stately pleasure-dome" in Xanadu (or Shang- du). Kublai Khan After a three-and-a-half year journey, Marco Polo, his father and uncle . poem about Kublai Khan's "stately pleasure'dome" in Xanadu (or Shang -du). .. Here is this pretty daughter of yours; give her in marriage to the Bailo.

He promoted economic prosperity by rebuilding the Grand Canal, repairing public granaries, and extending highways. Under Kublai, the Mongols adopted divide-and-rule tactics. The Mongols and central Asians remained separate from Chinese life; in many ways life for the Chinese was left basically unchanged. Kublai was also well known for his acceptance of different religions.

kublai khan and marco polo relationship poems

The rule of the Mongol minority was assured by dividing the population of China into four social classes: The first two classes enjoyed extensive privileges; the third class held an intermediate position; and the southern Chinese, the most numerous of all, were practically barred from state offices. The Link to the West Under Kublai, the opening of direct contact between China and the West was made possible by Mongol control of central Asian trade routes and aided by the presence of efficient postal services.

In the early thirteenth century, large numbers of Europeans and central Asians made their way to China.

In Xanadu did Kublai Khan a Stately Pleasure-Dome Decree

The presence of the Mongol power also enabled many Chinese to travel freely within the Mongol Empire, all the way to Russia, Persia, and Mesopotamia. In Kublai entrusted the Polo brothers, two Venetian merchants, to carry a request to the pope for one hundred Christian scholars and technicians. The Polos met with Pope Gregory X in and received his blessing but no scholars.

kublai khan and marco polo relationship poems

Marco Polo,[ 3 ] who accompanied his father on this trip, was probably the best-known foreign visitor ever to set foot in China. It is said that he spent the next seventeen years under Kublai Khan, including official service in the administration and trips through the provinces of Yunnan and Fukien.

Final Years Two Mongol invasions in Japan were unsuccessful in andso that the further expansion of the Mongol empire now also came to an end in the east. At the time of his death, the Mongol Empire was the largest territorial entity in world history, covering almost the entire Eurasian continent.

It was a rare book, unlikely to be at a "lonely farmhouse", nor would an individual carry it on a journey; the folio was heavy and almost pages in size. As a symbol within the preface, the person represents the obligations of the real world crashing down upon the creative world or other factors that kept Coleridge from finishing his poetry. The claim to produce poetry after dreaming of it became popular after "Kubla Khan" was published.

Rauber claimed that the man was "necessary to create the illusion of the cut short rather than the stopped". When the Preface is dropped, the poem seems to compare the act of poetry with the might of Kubla Khan instead of the loss of inspiration causing the work to have a more complex depiction of the poetic power.

Taken together, the Preface could connect with the first half of the poem to suggest that the poem is from the view of a dreaming narrator, [52] or it could connect with the second half of the poem to show how a reader is to interpret the lines by connecting himself with the persona in a negative manner. The poet of the Preface is a dreamer who must write and the poet of the poem is a vocal individual, but both are poets who lose inspiration.

Only the poet of the poem feels that he can recover the vision, and the Preface, like a Coleridge poem that is quoted in it, The Picture, states that visions are unrecoverable.

Although the land is one of man-made "pleasure", there is a natural, "sacred" river that runs past it. The lines describing the river have a markedly different rhythm from the rest of the passage: Where Alph, the sacred river, ran Through caverns measureless to man Down to a sunless sea.

The finite properties of the constructed walls of Xanadu are contrasted with the infinite properties of the natural caves through which the river runs.

So twice five miles of fertile ground With walls and towers were girdled round: And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills, Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree; And here were forests ancient as the hills, Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

The version published in reads: And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills, While the holograph copy handwritten by Coleridge himself the Crewe manuscript, shown at the right says: And here were gardens bright with sinuous rills, [55] The poem expands on the gothic hints of the first stanza as the narrator explores the dark chasm in the midst of Xanadu's gardens, and describes the surrounding area as both "savage" and "holy".

Yarlott interprets this chasm as symbolic of the poet struggling with decadence that ignores nature. Fountains are often symbolic of the inception of life, and in this case may represent forceful creativity. And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething, As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing, A mighty fountain momently was forced: Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail, Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail: And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever It flung up momently the sacred river.

Five miles meandering with a mazy motion Through wood and dale the sacred river ran, Then reached the caverns measureless to man, And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean: Yarlott argues that the war represents the penalty for seeking pleasure, or simply the confrontation of the present by the past: The vision of the sites, including the dome, the cavern, and the fountain, are similar to an apocalyptic vision.

The Mental Garden of Kubla Khan and Marco Polo - Aleph

Together, the natural and man-made structures form a miracle of nature as they represent the mixing of opposites together, the essence of creativity: It was a miracle of rare device, A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice! Harold Bloom suggests that this passage reveals the narrator's desire to rival Khan's ability to create with his own. A damsel with a dulcimer In a vision once I saw: Could I revive within me Her symphony and song, To such a deep delight 'twould win me, That with music loud and long, I would build that dome in air, That sunny dome!

Harold Bloom suggests that the power of the poetic imagination, stronger than nature or art, fills the narrator and grants him the ability to share this vision with others through his poetry. The narrator would thereby be elevated to an awesome, almost mythical status, as one who has experienced an Edenic paradise available only to those who have similarly mastered these creative powers: His flashing eyes, his floating hair!

Weave a circle round him thrice, And close your eyes with holy dread, For he on honey-dew hath fed, And drunk the milk of Paradise. The poem celebrates creativity and how the poet is able to experience a connection to the universe through inspiration. As a poet, Coleridge places himself in an uncertain position as either master over his creative powers or a slave to it. The poet is separated from the rest of humanity after he is exposed to the power to create and is able to witness visions of truth.

This separation causes a combative relationship between the poet and the audience as the poet seeks to control his listener through a mesmerising technique. The Preface then allows for Coleridge to leave the poem as a fragment, which represents the inability for the imagination to provide complete images or truly reflect reality.

The poem would not be about the act of creation but a fragmentary view revealing how the act works: The poet, in Coleridge's system, is able to move from the world of understanding, where men normally are, and enter into the world of the imagination through poetry.


When the narrator describes the "ancestral voices prophesying war", the idea is part of the world of understanding, or the real world. As a whole, the poem is connected to Coleridge's belief in a secondary Imagination that can lead a poet into a world of imagination, and the poem is both a description of that world and a description of how the poet enters the world.

The water imagery is also related to the divine and nature, and the poet is able to tap into nature in a way Kubla Khan cannot to harness its power. In his Biographia Literariahe explained, "I sought for a subject, that should give equal room and freedom for description, incident, and impassioned reflections on men, nature, and society, yet supply in itself a natural connection to the parts and unity to the whole. Such a subject I conceived myself to have found in a stream, traced from its source in the hills among the yellow-red moss and conical glass-shaped tufts of bent, to the first break or fall, where its drops become audible, and it begins to form a channel".

Additionally, many of the images are connected to a broad use of Ash Farm and the Quantocks in Coleridge's poetry, and the mystical settings of both Osorio and "Kubla Khan" are based on his idealised version of the region.

However, the styles are very different as one is heavily structured and rhymed while the other tries to mimic conversational speech. What they do have in common is that they use scenery based on the same location, including repeated uses of dells, rocks, ferns, and a waterfall found in the Somerset region. When considering all of The Picture and not just the excerpt, Coleridge describes how inspiration is similar to a stream and that if an object is thrown into it the vision is interrupted.

They were seen as worshippers of the sun, but uncivilised and connected to either the Cain or Ham line of outcasts.

kublai khan and marco polo relationship poems

However, Coleridge describes Khan in a peaceful light and as a man of genius. He seeks to show his might but does so by building his own version of paradise. The description and the tradition provide a contrast between the daemonic and genius within the poem, and Khan is a ruler who is unable to recreate Eden.

Though the imagery can be dark, there is little moral concern as the ideas are mixed with creative energies. Nature, in the poem is not a force of redemption but one of destruction, and the paradise references reinforce what Khan cannot attain.

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The place was described in negative terms and seen as an inferior representation of paradise, and Coleridge's ethical system did not connect pleasure with joy or the divine. The river, Alph, replaces the one from Eden that granted immortality[ citation needed ] and it disappears into a sunless sea that lacks life. The image is further connected to the Biblical, post-Edenic stories in that a mythological story attributes the violent children of Ham becoming the Tatars, and that Tartarus, derived from the location, became a synonym for hell.

Coleridge believed that the Tatars were violent, and that their culture was opposite to the civilised Chinese. In the manuscript copy, the location was named both Amora and Amara, and the location of both is the same. In post-Milton accounts, the kingdom is linked with the worship of the sun, and his name is seen to be one that reveals the Khan as a priest.

This is reinforced by the connection of the river Alph with the Alpheus, a river that in Greece was connected to the worship of the sun. As followers of the sun, the Tatar are connected to a tradition that describes Cain as founding a city of sun worshippers and that people in Asia would build gardens in remembrance of the lost Eden. Kubla Khan is of the line of Cain and fallen, but he wants to overcome that state and rediscover paradise by creating an enclosed garden.

The dome, in Thomas Maurice's description, in The History of Hindostan of the tradition, was related to nature worship as it reflects the shape of the universe. Coleridge, when composing the poem, believed in a connection between nature and the divine but believed that the only dome that should serve as the top of a temple was the sky.

He thought that a dome was an attempt to hide from the ideal and escape into a private creation, and Kubla Khan's dome is a flaw that keeps him from truly connecting to nature. Maurice's History of Hindostan also describes aspects of Kashmir that were copied by Coleridge in preparation for hymns he intended to write. The work, and others based on it, describe a temple with a dome.

The use of dome instead of house or palace could represent the most artificial of constructs and reinforce the idea that the builder was separated from nature. However, Coleridge did believe that a dome could be positive if it was connected to religion, but the Khan's dome was one of immoral pleasure and a purposeless life dominated by sensuality and pleasure. She is a figure of imaginary power within the poem who can inspire within the narrator his own ability to craft poetry.

The connection between Lewti and the Abyssinian maid makes it possible that the maid was intended as a disguised version of Mary Evanswho appears as a love interest since Coleridge's poem The Sigh.

Evans, in the poems, appears as an object of sexual desire and a source of inspiration. A Laurel crown'd her Head, and a Quiver in a Scarf hanged at her back". She is similar to John Keats's Indian woman in Endymion who is revealed to be the moon goddess, but in "Kubla Khan" she is also related to the sun and the sun as an image of divine truth.

Marco Polo at the Court of Kublai Khan – Lie and You Die | The Culture Concept Circle

It was a natural fortress, and was the site of the royal treasury and the royal prison. The sons of the Emperors of Abyssinia, except for the heir, were held prisoner there, to prevent them from staging a coup against their father, until the Emperor's death. Mount Amara was visited between and by the Portuguese priest, explorer and diplomat Francisco Alvares —who was on a mission to meet the Christian king of Ethiopia.

His description of Mount Amara was published inand appears in Purchas, his Pilgrimes, the book Coleridge was reading before he wrote "Kubla Khan". The custome is that all the male child of the Kings, except the Heires, as soone as they be brought up, they send them presendly to a very great Rock, which stands in the province of Amara, and there they pass all their life, and never come out from thence, except the King which reignith departeth their life without Heires.

In fact the Blue Nile is very far from the other three rivers mentioned in Genesis 2: As noted above, the description of the size and landscape of Xanadu and of the Pleasure Dome was taken directly from Purchas, who took it from the description of Marco Polo, who had visited Xanadu.

Coleridge may also have been influenced by the surrounding of Culbone Combe and its hills, gulleys, and other features including the "mystical" and "sacred" locations in the region. Also, the name "Alph" could connect to the idea of being an alpha or original place. It is possible that the dream affected Coleridge's later mood and caused him to enter into a depression, influencing the ideas in his writing that followed the dream night.

Of these ideas, Coleridge's emphasised the vastness of the universe and his feeling overwhelmed by how little the universe seemed to him. The poem could have provided Coleridge with the idea of a dream poem that discusses fountains, sacredness, and even a woman singing a sorrowful song. In terms of spelling, Coleridge's printed version differs from Purchas's spelling, which refers to the Tartar ruler as "Cublai Can", and from the spelling used by Milton, "Cathaian Can".

The Abyssinian maid is derived from many figures in Coleridge's life, including women who Coleridge admired in some way: The person who was the closest match to the figure was Evans, the subject of Coleridge's Lewti.

The poem's claim that the narrator would be inspired to act if the song of the maid could be heard was a belief that Coleridge held regarding Evans after she became unattainable to him. According to some critics, the second stanza of the poem, forming a conclusion, was composed at a later date and was possibly disconnected from the original dream.

However, the immediate response to the collection was to ignore Christabel and "Kubla Khan" or simply to attack "Kubla Khan". Many of the attacks started as a new generation of critical magazines, including Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Edinburgh Review, and Quarterly Review, were established at the beginning of the 19th century.

The critics were more provocative than those of the previous generation, and much of the bad reception was based on Coleridge's timing of publication and his own political views, much of which contrasted with those of the critics, than actual content. Another reason for negative reviews was a puff piece written by Byron about the Christabel publication. I fear lest it should be discovered by the lantern of typography and clear reducing to letters, no better than nonsense or no sense.

He reviewed the collection of poems for 2 June Examiner, and, in his analysis, he attacked the fragmentary nature of the work and argued, "The fault of Mr Coleridge is, that he comes to no conclusion With regard to the former, which is professedly published as a psychological curiosity, it having been composed during sleep, there appears to us nothing in the quality of the lines to render this circumstance extraordinary.

Coleridge of a reverend friend of ours, who actually wrote down two sermons on a passage in the Apocalypse, from the recollection of the spontaneous exercise of his faculties in sleep. To persons who are in the habit of poetical composition, a similar phenomenon would not be a stranger occurrence, than the spirited dialogues in prose which take place in dreams of persons of duller invention than our poet, and which not unfrequently leave behind a very vivid impression.

In an anonymous review for the July Literary Panorama, the reviewer claimed, "'Kubla Khan' is merely a few stanzas which owe their origin to a circumstance by no means uncommon to persons of a poetical imagination It should however be recollected, that in sleep the judgment is the first faculty of the mind which ceases to act, therefore, the opinion of the sleeper respecting his performance is not to be trusted, even in his waking moments.