japonisme: star to follow

14 July 2012

star to follow


In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-
dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.

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.

But oh! that deep romantic
chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!

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:
And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!

The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

A damsel with a dulcimer
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
Singing of Mount Abora.
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! those caves of ice!
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
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.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

i offer you something more entertaining than sensible. just curious, though-- am i the only one around here that has a passion for print and pattern? not that i'd stop those posts, but y'all can be so quiet for so long!

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Blogger Skeet said...

I am repeating myself, but sometimes I feel like such an old fart- if you define old fart as someone who sees what's produced now & compares it to the craftmanship & beauty of the past, & prefers the past- & I refer to pretty much all things artistic- drawings, graphics, clothing, music, half the movies coming out anymore are re-hashes of previous movies...

16 July, 2012 09:44  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

hi skeet-- well, they do say there's nothing new under the sun... ;^)

i totally agree with you... and yet... okay, like for example -- i'll count back how many years it's been since i graduated from high school. then i'll count back that same number of years backwards from when i graduated from high school. then i'll look at how that earliest date appeared to me from that high school graduation moment. and it seemed an entirely different universe. so i think we have to think of our places on the flux rather than as being fixed.

and the other thing that i recently realized was that it's all about money. things we see from a hundred years ago was to some large extent from the province of the very wealthy. and, often, made by the very poor. i don't know if it could ever be reconstructed -- and not just because they made things better then. there are many other reasons. atalier martime, for example, was often staffed for designers by 12-year-old girls, much like the saturday night girls, and many of the other crafts whose "creators" we still know today. even tiffany?

and in many cases we're just in too much of a hurry.

16 July, 2012 11:32  
Anonymous Evan said...

ah...the ataliers of yesteryear sound very much like the sweat shops of today. Things haven't changed much. The poor make products for the rich & less poor.

And you're quite right about flux & fixed- I remember seeing "2001: A Space Odyssey" (when it first came out) & it wasn't so much that I didn't believe such a future could happen, I just couldn't conceive I'd be around in 2001.

Here it is 2012. I thought it'd be shinier.


17 July, 2012 06:57  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

i *thought* that was you!! of course, the more i thought about what you said! and oh! you're right. i too thought 2001 was impossibly far away.

17 July, 2012 07:07  
Blogger Nancy Ewart said...

Love these images paired with the poem - visual and verbal making a perfect duet.

19 July, 2012 21:43  
Blogger lotusgreen said...

thank you nancy. you really are a generous person.

20 July, 2012 11:42  

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hi, and thanks so much for stopping by. i spend all too much time thinking my own thoughts about this stuff, so please tell me yours. i thrive on the exchange!

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