I was curios to see if there was a name for 世外桃源 in English. Surprisingly there is one —-called Xanadu, an idyllic, exotic and luxurious place. It was not referring to the essay we all know, but the summer residence of Kublai Khan 忽必烈—-Shang-tu. Huh?
I have not found out how idyllic or luxurious Shang-tu was and my mind is totally blank to call any place my Xanadu. But, I have been to other people’s Xanadu.
First jump to my mind is Hearst Castle in LA. You may have been there. It was built by publisher and politician William Randolph Hearst on a vast land of 250 thousand acres. It sits on a hilltop so steep that you have to take the tour bus to get on it. Every room of the castle has a view of mountain or sea. The castle was filled with antiques and art collections. And a lush garden, a zoo housing exotic animals, and enormous outdoor pool like a renaissance from Roman Empire. Many lavish parties were hosted there. I guess that’s one man’s Xanadu.
2nd one was encountered on a recent hiking trip. I guess it fits the type of idyllic place. It was a state park built next to an abandoned textile mill. Th mill was built by an English immigrant and later expanded his business and had substantial but not enormous success. The elder son wished to preserve the park land for the local community. He bought total 1300 acres of land in his lifetime and donated to state and federal for park development before & after his death. Conserved parkland was another man’s Xanadu.
My readers, if you are ever to build your Xanadu, what will you create?
Or a Vision in a Dream. A Fragment
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.
是更理念上的一个社会环境。Xanadu 可以是一个物理（physically) 的地方，跟据出处(关于忽必烈的那首诗).
超爱Lion king. 上次去纽约没有定到Broadway 的票，后悔莫及。
它的主题曲和Tonight I celebrate my love 都是我爱的歌，太知音了…