Skip to main content

Xenophobic Xylophones in eXistential splendor....

X is for Xanadu.....

Let's face it, there aren't that many 'X' words that would make for an interesting post.

I could talk about xenophobes and their reluctance to associate or trust people they don't know...

I could talk about wooden Xylophones and their differences/similarities to their cousins the metal 'bell-play' Glockenspiels...

But, why not talk about a place whose name is synonymous with beauty, luxury and opulence. Besides, Xanadu is a cool word to say--- almost sounds magical and definitely sounds mysterious.

Coleridge's poem, Kubla Khan, speaks of the savage conqueror's desire to build an earthly paradise, his Xanadu, in ten miles of the most fertile land in what is now the Inner Mongolian region of China. The poem also describes the pleasure dome's majesty....but, still, Xanadu was a man-made Utopia.

And, like all other 'unnatural' things, the world has a way of taking them back. In Coleridge's poem, the sea rises up and claims the pleasure dome, setting it adrift until the dome becomes a dome of ice.
Xanadu, is little more than ruins, today, having fallen prey to nature's own conquest.

The final portion of Coleridge's poem speaks of building the dome in the air and of drinking the milk of paradise... perhaps it's an attempt to construct a paradise that is eternal or that won't be swept away by the sea. Perhaps it is the narrator finally realizing that the only eternal paradise is one that was never built by human hands.....

Comments

  1. I never thought of Xanadu but what a great post. You are also making me wonder what happened to my copy of Fisherman's Blues...

    ReplyDelete
  2. The illustration makes me think of Angkor Wat. Yet another place I'd love to photograph.

    You know, I'm afraid Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly have done me in on Xanadu. It was such an unlikely pairing, I can't see past it to all the ancient splendor.

    Thanks for stopping in today. Sorry x was MIA. It's always nice to see you.


    Best,
    Joe
    x: crossroads

    ReplyDelete
  3. Good post. I'm so glad I found your blog! I'm stopping by from the A to Z challenge and I look forward to visiting again.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Joe--- Aw, sorry Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly ruined Xanadu for you, I guess I'm lucky to not know this particular version of Xanadu!

    @Sylvia--- Nice to meet you and thanks for stopping in :-)

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Share your thoughts!

Popular posts from this blog

Y is for Yeth Hound.....

Yeth Hound--- one of the incarnations of the "Black Dog" myth, this one located specifically, in Devon, England.

"Black Dogs" appear in myths across the world, most are associated with death and bad omens... i.e. Hell Hounds.

The Yeth Hound is said to be the spirit of an unbaptised child that takes the form of a headless black dog. The Hound wanders the woods at night making pitiful wailing sounds (though, I'm unclear as to how it makes wailing sounds without having a head).

The Black Dogs were possibly one inspiration from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's ghost dog in The Hound of the Baskervilles-- "an enormous coal-black hound, but not such a hound as mortal eyes have ever seen."



Heed Not, the Lonesome Cry
Heed not, the lonesome cry, the baleful wail echoing through the woods. Seek not, the black hound's sigh, look not where the headless creature stood.
One sound, your limbs will shake, your heart filled with the deepest dread. One glimpse, your sou…

B is for Banshee.....

Irish bean sidhe and Scottish Gaelic bean sith, literally, woman of fairyland.


The mythology and legend surrounding the Banshee is a bit mixed. The most readily accepted story is of a hag-like creature wailing the impending death of someone nearby-- most ancient Gaelic families, especially the more well-to-do families, had their own Banshees that attached themselves to the lineage of the family name. I suppose it was a sign of station for a family to be able to claim their own Banshee--- I mean, who needs an exciting/ tongue-wagging-inciting skeleton in your cupboard when you've got a Banshee wailing in your rafters?
The origins of the more familiar Banshee may have stemmed from the ancient Keeners-- women who were employed to sing a lament at a funeral. The best Keeners were in high demand to "wail" and "weep" for the great personage who had fallen.

The Great families would boast a bean sidhe or bean sith-- a fairy-woman Keener--and having foresight, the Keene…

Scottish Festival and a bit of poetry...

The 38th annual Arkansas Scottish Festival was held at Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas on April 7th - April 9th. This was the first time I'd ever attended. I'm sad to say I didn't even know the festival existed until last year. On Saturday, April 8th, a group of friends and I made the several-hour trek, determined to enjoy everything we could.
The weather was glorious, all bright, bonnie sunlight and mild temperatures. Seemed mother nature approved of the festivities. The campus was appropriately kitted out, and nearly everyone in attendance was properly *ahem* kilted out. 
Bagpipes playing, we ate meat pies--- well, mine was a 5-cheese mac & cheese pie--- watched clans parade their colors, got sunburned (darn our fair, Celtic skin), and wanted the day to last forever.
There were a host of competitions, everything from Scottish/Irish dance-offs, sheep dog trials, Tartan races, a Celtic poetry competition, piping and drum trials, even a bonniest knees competition (…