Samuel Taylor Coleridge had a dream one night while in a stupor from opium. In his dream, he saw the great palace of the ancient Mongol emperor Kublai Khan, and he described it in great detail. The opening stanza of the poem is often remembered vividly:
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan,The poem goes on to describe considerably more about the palace. Coleridge apparently ran for paper and pencil and recorded as much of the story as he could remember, when he was interrupted by a visitor, a "person from Porlock [Somerset]" and by the time he finished with the person, he had forgotten the rest of the poem."Xanadu" was a real place, now called Shangdu, and located in the Chinese province of Inner Mongolia.
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
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