Review of “Kubla Khan” (1816)
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (writer).
The poem should be read with Coleridge’s preface (“In the summer of the year 1797...”), which is longer than the poem itself and almost as famous. It is a dubious story of first-generation Romantic creation, not quite ex nihilo and aborted by the quintessential ordinary person “from Porlock”. The poem itself is also good: Rich but not too polished.