Making Sense of Scents

Xanadu

Love the idea…but there are not many incense bearing  trees in China …frankincense and myrrh come from mainly around the Horn of Africa- Somalia, Ethiopia, Dhofar….not a sign of ’em in ancient Beijing:

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 blossom’d many an incense-bearing tree:

 And here were forests ancient as the hills,

 Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

Kubla Khan

0r, a vision in a dream

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Xanadu- did a fabulous city need to be walled? Was it to keep dreams in or barbarians out?

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