more on Coleridge and Xanadu

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Fri 23 May 2003 - 02:49:30 GMT

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    William Benzon has posted about possible influences on Coleridge and his writing of Kubla Khan, including the 18th century Philadelphian naturalist William Bartram (aka "Puc Puggy"). Well the influence of Bartram may be subtle, if actual, but there's a not so subtle impact Coleridge has made on the artifacts many Rushians (followers of the power rock trio from the Great White North) have stored in their compact disc collections. There's a little ditty (well at just over 11 minutes a long ditty) on the Rush CD "A Farewell to Kings" called "Xanadu". Don't know whether Coleridge's case was cryptomnesia, but with an opening verse like:

        "To seek the sacred river Alph
         To walk the caves of Ice
         To break my fast on honey dew
         And drink the milk of Paradise...."

    there's no mistaking this one by Rush and lyricist / uberdrummermeister Neil Peart.

    Rush's performance of this may be quite efficacious in passing the influence of Coleridge (and perhaps Bartram?) down the generations...well at least if people buy stuff other than Britney Spears and N-Stync when they shop for music :-)

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