The hidden years in Canada 54, Kubla Khan

Door San-Daniel gepubliceerd op Tuesday 09 June 07:10

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Kubla Khan

‘Can you believe it,’ said Rico, when we walked towards truck, ‘they really had no idea of ​​what happens in the real world.’ ‘That's their world, John Rico, their real world, there moon landings have no or at least another priority, far inferior to harvest times or plowing or sowing times.’ ‘Hey man, do not start now with that John Rico hassle,’ said Rico, 'or they're all really think I'm a hillbilly. ‘ ‘Medicine Hat here we come,’ I laughed and the truck made his way groaning in low gear across the parking lot towards the main road. Rico reached for the collection of poems, 'just not not now, ‘I said,' I'm still working on the moon landing.’

The areas through which we drove were long stretches and a little hilly, this was the endless prairie. The road tried to hypnotize you and you had to make sure your attention was not weakened by the view which was uninspiring. Here hardly went any traffic, the distances between major cities were large and here only drove destination traffic. This was beef country, from here came the cattle that would be traded in Calgary. Slowly but surely, as time passed, changed the outdoors changed. Where you first saw the occasional tree on the fields, we now entered an area populated by trees, until eventually it became the dense pine vegetation that you come across anywhere in Canada. Rico recited occasionally a verse from the 'ancient mariner. Whatever had inspired Coleridge to write such a dragon of a verse?

The story was not complicated. A sailor shoots with his bow out of boredom in the calm zone an albatross from the mast. The bird is seen as a bringer of luck and fate strikes. Everybody dies except for the old sailor. Spirits take possession of the bodies of his mates and they sail as a ghost crew on the seas. Hie is damned and cursed and should find his way around the world and tell his story as a warning to others. I suddenly knew why the poem at times ran perfectly and at other times in fits and starts, and only after many repetitions found progress.

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‘Are you listening,’ Rico asked while my eye rested far in front of me on the road and I drove on automatic, with the image of the three-masted ship in the waves with her ghost crew in my head. ‘Yes,’ I answered my poem reciting hillbilly, co-driver, ‘I'm just deep into Coleridge. Rico, skip all those descriptions, and the whole horror of zombie-like mariners sailing. ‘ ‘Yes,’ said Rico ? ‘Look up the last few verses, something that starts with farewell or something.’ ‘I have it,’ Rico said after a while, ‘it's not the last part but almost the last part of the poem.’ ‘Just read it to me Young Richard,’ I imitated the voice of our old literature teacher, ‘but with feeling, with diction!’

 

‘Yes sir, Mr. Bigmother,’ chuckled Rico.

 

Farewell, farewell! but this I tell

To thee, thou Wedding-Guest!

He prayeth well, who loveth well

Both man and bird and beast.

He prayeth best, who loveth best

All things both great and small;

For the dear God who loveth us,

He made and loveth all. ‘

 

‘Look, that's what I meant,’ I said. ‘He alternates archaic word usage with the normal everyday English and the core of the poem is in there.’ ‘What do you think it means,’ I said to Rico. ‘You knew that this verse was in here,’ Rico asked with amazement? ‘Mr. Boston has recited it last year in the classroom,’ I replied. ‘You have no idea how much not socially relevant information I have stored in my head. Enlighten us, Young Richard, ‘I chuckled to myself for the almost perfect imitation of our former teacher. ‘Um, the wandering and cursed sailor says goodbye to the one to whom he told the story.’ ‘Recite it Rico,’ I asked while the road was now rising and I had to switch gears.

‘You  don’t read bad,’ I said when he met my request, ‘but you mumble it up at times. Give it life. This is the man who has killed a good luck charm from the heavens, the Albatross, out of boredom and hence damns his whole ship. I have to go by memory. ‘

 

Farewell, farewell! but this I tell

To thee, thou Wedding-Guest!

He prayeth well, who loveth well

Both man and bird and beast.

 

'Coleridge makes the appearance explain what is important in life. Morning breaks and the Ancient Mariner 'will fade away, as ghosts do, so he said goodbye and he gives advice to the listeners on his way to a wedding. That's archaic language usage To thee, thou wedding guest .. which should have read to you, you wedding guest. He does so in order to give his message weight. He prayeth well who loveth well .. he that prays well, is he who loved well..He gives the language a solemn note.

Does he not say; a good prayer is done by those who love both men, bird and beast? It is strange that he makes the distinction between birds and beasts, which is, I think, because he regards them as heavenly. That suggests that those who lack that ability, have no connection with God as observers. You have to love the creation. ‘

 

He prayeth best, who loveth best

All things both great and small;

For the dear God who loveth us,

He made and loveth all

 

‘So,’ said Rico, ‘that cannot be denied and is there more?’ ‘Certainly, the repetition by Coleridge is not in the mechanism of amplification. Rather, it is lack of concentration. He used at least 100 verses to say that the creator loves  his creation and you should follow him in that. ‘ ‘That concentration, why do you think it went missing,’ Rico asked? ‘Because he smoked opium and tried to capture the images which were clouded by their beauty before they evaporated into nothingness.’

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‘Sooo,’ said Rico, with a long swipe, ‘ you assume quite a bit there.’ ‘Not really, the Kubla Khan is such a poem as well, I explained.’ ‘The Kubla, what, 'asked Rico stunned. ‘Young Richard where were  you with your mind last year,’ I talked down to him? ‘The Kubla Khan, is a beautiful poem about the gardens of Xanadu, but it is not finished. It is also from the hand of ColeRidge. He describes it  in the Coleridge papers, which is a correspondence with friends, he writes that he was on opium and tried to feverishly pen down images when disturbed by someone who came to the door and interrupted him. Then he lost the feeling, the atmosphere as he called it. ‘ ‘What makes you think so, 'asked Rico? ‘ You’ll find it in the back, in the appendices, 'in your book, I said with a sigh. ‘You don’t really like literature now, do you?’ ‘No,’ Richard said honestly, ‘but it is mandatory eh?’ ‘Unfortunately so, only people who feel it should be allowed to study those blocks,’ and then we drove into Medicine Hat, which was a desolate town.

San Daniel 2015

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