Friday, January 29, 2010

The Asshole from Porlock

The visitor from Porlock is one of my favorite things that I learned about as an English Lit major. I still think that shit is funny. I always envision the visitor from Porlock as this great big bore that poor Coleridge couldn't escape. Dude from Porlock was the Jehovah's Witless of his day. What that boring fuck cost the world of literature was priceless.

Whenever I am happy to see someone leave, I always say, "He/she was about as welcome as the asshole from Porlock."

Person from Porlock
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Person from Porlock was an unwelcome visitor to Samuel Taylor Coleridge during his composition of the poem Kubla Khan. Coleridge claimed to have perceived the entire course of the poem in a dream (possibly an opium-induced haze), but was interrupted by this visitor from Porlock (a town in the South West of England, near Exmoor) while in the process of writing it. Kubla Khan, only 54 lines long, was never completed. Thus "Person from Porlock", "Man from Porlock", or just "Porlock" are literary allusions to unwanted intruders.

Coleridge was living at Nether Stowey (between Bridgwater and Minehead). It is unclear whether the interruption took place at Culbone Parsonage or at Ash Farm. He described the incident in his first publication of the poem:

"On awakening he appeared to himself to have a distinct recollection of the whole, and taking his pen, ink, and paper, instantly and eagerly wrote down the lines that are here preserved. At this moment he was unfortunately called out by a person on business from Porlock, and detained by him above an hour, and on his return to his room, found, to his no small surprise and mortification, that though he still retained some vague and dim recollection of the general purport of the vision, yet, with the exception of some eight or ten scattered lines and images, all the rest had passed away like the images on the surface of a stream into which a stone has been cast, but, alas! without the after restoration of the latter!"



Petit fleur said...


mrs. miss alaineus said...

dude the porlock's like a pre-tv walking informercial. . .


the walking man said...

Dumb ass should have taken another hit of the pipe.

Bethany said...

why did i never learn this?
you're a good teacher.
this is hilarious.
fucker is right.
my whole life is a visit from Porlock.

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Now, that made me laugh. You crack me up.