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Beware! Beware! His Flashing Eyes, His Floating Hair!

indexDoes the poem have a special meaning for me? No.

Does it have any other reason that it stayed in my mind? Yes, you see, I have never read a poem more intense, more scary and more enticing in my life. (And I have been made to read quite a few)

I am not going to write about Kubla Khan. There are just too many books, too my PhD articles, too many everything about Samuel Taylor Coleridge. What I am about to write is about my sheer dumbness regarding my understanding of this particular poem.

I read it very often, at night, when I know that the rest of the family is asleep. The poem gives me the same goosebumps every time.(I assure you, Benedict Cumberbatch’sΒ  recitation of the poem has nothing at all with how I feel about these lines)

A savage place! as holy and enchanted

As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted

By woman wailing for her demon-lover

I do not know why I like Kubla Khan. However, I think it somehow affects me in the most breathtaking way possible. It is unimaginable how one can place the words ‘savage’ and ‘holy’ in the same context.

The truth is that I have never read anything so disturbingly attractive, so detailed and yet so full of mystery. It is difficult to even discuss this poem without digressing in to philosophy.

And that is the beauty of this poem. It always makes me feel so many things, overwhelms me each time that I stand completely dumbfounded to my own mind and its capabilities. Every time I read it, I end up with the rather unsettling feeling, the feeling that I did not understand what it said. I felt it; I can even say that I saw what the poet wanted me to see. The moment you ask me to write I am done for! I do not know.

How do you really write ‘fear’, ‘awe’, and ‘beauty’. Words are symbols; They are not those feelings themselves, just some icons, signifying certain emotions. I cannot, however much I try, show you ‘fear’ by arranging ‘f’,’e’,’a’ and ‘r’ in a meaningful way. No one can.

That is how I feel when I read Kubla Khan. Mind stops working, heart overladen with emotions and the pain of not being able to put them in words so that I can share it and relieve myself of the intensity of emotions this poem creates in me.
By Heart

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4 Comments

    • shaeri says

      Thanks Andy. You are a teacher! I doubt any of my teachers ever said those two words about my write-ups.. So Thank you ! πŸ˜›

      Liked by 1 person

      • Teachers, by default, do not praise students for they want them to work harder. πŸ™‚ But then, my students will agree to disagree, I am no pushover πŸ˜‰
        Good to meet you.

        Liked by 1 person

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