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JESUS' SIB
using Coleridge's opium 1

 
 2  3        4
1 8I(a)    In Heavenly5 Nanjing6 did we7    8Ia
2 8Ib    A capital of Kings decree,    8Ia
3 8Ia    Where China's longest river flows    8Ib
4 8Ia    Through land on which no failure grows    8Ib
     
5 6Nb    Close to the sunrise sea.    6Na
     
6 8Ic    There was no equal to be found,    8Ic
7 9Nc    With splendid buildings all around,    8Ic
8 11Id    With churches and a precious metals store    10Id
9 11Nb    And none but Worshippers who never swore,    10Id
10  10Id    For e'er extolling the Old One on High.    10Ie
11 10Ib    And plenty of munition to get by   10Ie
     
12 11Ia    But, oh, that journey from which I returned devout:    12Ia
13 11Nb    To Heaven back, to meet the One without compare.    12Ib
14 11Ia    Carried to the great gate I was, in a chair.    11Tb
15 11Ia    They split me open, took the soiled mass out;    10Ia
16 11Ib    Soiled from my descent my body was, no doubt.    11Ta
17 11Ic    They offered me a golden seal and great sword.    11Ic
18 11Ic    My hand then grasped the killing power ... ... ...    12Id

Since this poem is incorporated into the historical novella The Last Heavenly King, first part of the trilogy Triptych of Times, you are presently being given free access to only the first 18 of its 54 lines.
(For more details see http://mvvm.net/Tong/ThL/Fict/Triptych.htm.)

M. Vincent van Mechelen  
64.MSW-LSW  


The first-person narrator in Jesus' is Hong Huoxiu or 'Xiuquan', a historical figure who ruled a large part of Southern and Central China from 1845 to 1864 of the Christianist Era. After a dream in 1837 Hong claimed to be the younger brother of the Biblical Jesus of Nazareth. Hong's attempt to oust the Manchu Qing dynasty and to establish a Christian theocracy eventually led to the deaths of twenty million people. (It was called "the Taiping Rebellion" by the Qing and their foreign allies.) I have derived most of my historical data from God's Chinese Son, The Taiping Heavenly Kingdom of Hong Xiuquan, by Jonathan D. Spence (1996 ChrE).

As the text is supposed to have been produced by a person who lived about 150 years ago, I have used a traditional, more etymological form of English in this poem (with, for instance, through and worshippers, instead of and worshipers). The Chinese names are in Putonghua and spelled in Pinyin without tone marks and without spaces between given names. With marks and spaces, the Chinese names which occur in the poem are: Nnjīng (Nan2jing1), Yn Lu (Yan2luo2), Huǒ (Huo3), Qun (Quan2) and Hng Huǒ Xi (Hong2 Huo3xiu4).


1 This poem is patterned after Kubla Khan, Or, a Vision in a Dream. A Fragment, written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1797 and published in 1816 ChrE. Kubla Khan was composed, in Coleridge's words, 'in a sort of reverie brought on by two grains of opium taken to check a dysentery'. It has two protagonists: Kublai Khan, who became emperor of all China in 1279 ChrE, and the poet By carefully following the form characteristics of Kubla Khan, and some of its content, I have tried to create the illusion of an opium poem. Unlike Kubla Khan, Jesus' Sib has only one protagonist, however: Hong Huoxiu.  [<]
2 This column shows the number of the line. The total number of lines and the open spaces between lines are exactly the same in Kubla Khan as in Jesus' Sib[<]
3 This column shows a form code for the corresponding line in Kubla Khan. The first figure indicates the number of syllables in the line. The following capital letter may be an I, if the line starts with an iamb and continues in the same pattern, a T, if the line starts with a trochee and continues in the same pattern, or an N, if the line has no (consistent) iambic or trochaic meter. The code ends with a small letter which indicates with which other line or lines in the same part of the poem it mes. (The three parts are lines 1-11, lines 12-30 and lines 31-54.) Parentheses are used if the rime is not fully convincing or depends on one's pronunciation. This applies to Khan and ran, forced and burst, ever and river, far and war. The total number of iambic lines in Kubla Khan is 42 (out of 54). The number of trochaic lines is 8, while 4 lines have no meter from beginning to end.  [<]
4 This column shows a form code for the line from Jesus' Sib on the left. The first figure indicates the number of syllables in the line. The following capital letter may be an I, if the line starts with an iamb and continues in the same pattern, a T, if the line starts with a trochee and continues in the same pattern, or an N, if the line has no (consistent) iambic or trochaic meter. Two successive capital letters indicate that the line is considered a pair of two half-lines on the basis of its grammatical structure. The code ends with a small letter which indicates with which other line or lines in the same part of the poem it rimes. (The three parts are lines 1-11, lines 12-30 and lines 31-54.) The total number of iambic lines in Jesus' Sib is 42 (out of 54). The number of trochaic lines is 9, while 3 lines have no meter from beginning to end.  [<]
5 Words and phrases which are underlined were used by Hong Xiuquan or the Taiping God-worshipers themselves.  [<]
6 Words and phrases in boldface are new, in that they do not occur in Kubla Khan or are not used in a similar context.  [<]
7 In 1847 ChrE Hong adopted the imperial personal pronoun zhn, meaning I (the ruler). As the use of zhn was traditionally restricted to the emperors of China, it can be compared to a monarch's use of the plural we in English. In Jesus' Sib Hong uses the singular I for the time of the dream itself (1837 ChrE); the plural we may be interpreted as a regular plural but also as a royal plural for those visions in which Hong is portrayed as (a) King on Earth, something that became, in a sense, reality between 1847 and 1864 of the Christianist Era.  [<]



©MVVM, 64-66 ASWW

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