Treasure Island

Kenneth Slessor

(27 March 1901 – 30 June 1971 / Orange, New South Wales)

Marco Polo


READING how Marco Polo came
By bridle-path to Kanbalu,
Forgotten fibres wake to flame,
And smoke old memories anew . . . .
For in a bygone life of mine
I watched the carven rampart shine,
Where Kublai's five-clawed dragons glowed
Like painted wyverns, line on line.
And past those plaster dragon-heads,
Those frescoes cut with curious flowers,
In verdigris and lilac-reds
Old tiles gleamed on the crusted towers,
While bridges cleft of serpent-stone
Bowed by their side, like branches blown
From some high granite Tree of Life
Whose roots were coiled round Kublai's throne.
O myrtles on the Jasper Mount,
O forest-towered elephants,
And fire-fish in the topaz fount
With red fins blown like water-plants,
And green cornelian tortoise-rows
Below the aqueduct, and those
Gold-feathered cranes, I saw them all,
How many ages gone, who knows?
I saw tall gilded Tartars pass
Behind their marble balustrades,
With maces made of beaten brass
And turquoise-hafted sabre-blades.
I heard the little golden bells
Blow faintly down the citadels,
And spied those ivory courts within
Through windows of transparent shells.
But past the fountain-pools I peered,
Beyond the birds, to that divan,
Where, fingering his tawny beard,
In silence dreamed the splendid Khan.
Green china bowls of wine were there,
And oranges and milk-of-mare,
While, stamping on his jewelled wrist,
A falcon climbed with eyes aflare.
He's gone; and with him, flowers and birds,
And old Venetians too, have died;
Yet burnt in Marco Polo's words,
Those unforgotten splendours hide . . .
And, tired of life's new-fashioned plan,
I long to be barbarian.
I'm sick of modern men, I wish
You were still living, Kublai-Khan!

Submitted: Thursday, April 01, 2010

Do you like this poem?
0 person liked.
0 person did not like.

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (Marco Polo by Kenneth Slessor )

Enter the verification code :

There is no comment submitted by members..

Top Poems

  1. Phenomenal Woman
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  5. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  6. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  9. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings
    Maya Angelou
  10. A Dream Within A Dream
    Edgar Allan Poe

PoemHunter.com Updates

New Poems

  1. A necessity, gajanan mishra
  2. Sarakara aapananka dwarare, gajanan mishra
  3. Man: A proud species, Pranab K. Chakraborty
  4. ONly needed, hasmukh amathalal
  5. Govt at people's door, gajanan mishra
  6. Nothing Going On, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  7. Her Shoebox Of Poetry, louis rams
  8. Releasing Sorrow's Energy, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  9. Let world be aware, hasmukh amathalal
  10. As She Wrought, Darlene Walsh

Poem of the Day

poet Robert Burns

When biting Boreas, fell and doure,
Sharp shivers thro' the leafless bow'r;
When Phoebus gies a short-liv'd glow'r,
Far south the lift,
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Jessie Pope

 
[Hata Bildir]