Category Archives: Idea 5 (Kubla Khan)

Kubla Khan

One of the future exercises is to choose a poem and then interpret it through photography. I am jumping ahead here but thought I would have a bit of a practice before I do the exercise proper. I am thinking of Kubla Khan and wondered if I could take an image of a garden and make it look as though the viewer was seeing it through a drug induced dream, as Coleridge was having such a dream when he ‘composed’ the poem. I took two images;

One focused:

and one not:

I then merged the two together, below.

The location is not right as it looks like a domestic garden and not a garden ‘bright with sinuous rills’ or ‘enfolding sunny spots of greenery’. However, I should be able to use this idea and improve on this for the exercise proper. It has at least started me thinking of how best to present my interpretation of the poem.

Kubla Khan by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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.