It is maintained and developed by The Full English as a resource for a national poetry recitation competition and for teaching and learning about poetry. So twice five miles of fertile ground With walls and towers were girdled round: And there were gardens bright with rills, Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree; And here were forests ancient as the hills, Enfolding sunny spots of greenery. In the summer of the year 1797, the Author, then in ill health, had retired to a lonely farm-house between Porlock and Linton, on the Exmoor confines of Somerset and Devonshire. Coleridge's concept of poetic frenzy is akin to Shakespearean vision. 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. 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! Then the speaker gets excited about the river again and tells us about the canyon through which it flows. The peom also describes how the process of creativity is not only a mental experience.
He was also a charismatic talker, and many younger writers would visit him in his home in Highgate to hear his words of wisdom. His flashing eyes, his floating hair! In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure dome decree; Although this passage seems straight forward, it contains the essential first three symbols of which the entire poem is based upon. Light and water are the two ancient metaphors for human thought. The nearby area is covered in streams, sweet-smelling trees, and beautiful forests. Then it sinks into the sunless sea with a loud noise. He awoke in something of a creative frenzy and began writing.
Maybe a little of both? In a sense, those first two stanzas become a poem within the poem, a dream the speaker awakens from. Water in the form of the sea is our fundamental metaphor for the unconscious mind—the soul, if you will—in all its depths. Kublai Khan, a Mongolian leader in the thirteenth century, conquered China and built a lavish palace known as Xanadu. The pleasure - dome was a sunny dome. This may be an allusion to the opposition of the real Khan by his younger brother, ArigbГ¶ge, which led eventually to a military victory for Kubla.
The 'flashing eyes' and 'floating hair' of Coleridge's poem belong to a poet in the fury of creation. Wordsworth concerned himself with nature and human nature and Coleridge often wrote dream poems under the influence of opium and the poems also appeared to be fragmentary. He drinks nectar, a sort of magical drink which produces divine inspiration in the form of melodious hymn. 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! Humphrey House considers the poem a poetic creation about the ecstasy in imaginative fulfilment. 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. The Poetry By Heart website is a shared asset of The Poetry Archive and The Full English.
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. He wants to duplicate the lightning strike, the intense winds that blow roofs off of houses, the formation of ice, the rampaging waters of a river in flood stage. And all who heard should see them there, And all should cry, Beware! Kubla Khan is indeed a forerunner of modern poetry. It is holy fear because thought the poet is a magician, there is nothing evil about his magic. The second part is related to divine aspect of poetry. The readers of inspiratory poetry will go round the poet three times to protect themselves from his magical frenzy. At this stanza break, the subject shifts from the imagined Xanadu to the speaker, a poet who brings himself into the poem.
His flashing eyes, his floating hair! This symbol is especially significant as the poem follows the path of the flowing river and therefore enables the reader to understand the process of creativity. He starts by introducing us to the River Alph. Others say that its ending is too fitting for the poem to be a fragment. Kublai was the grandson of Genghis Khan, the Mongol king whose hordes of horsemen swept across the Eurasian continent from the Pacific shores of China to the rivers and plains of central Europe. From the immediate start of the poem, the reader finds themselves subjected to interpret these hidden symbols.
The poem has thus progressed from the creations of Kubla Khan to the even more magical actions of nature. The rhyme scheme may be summarized as follows: Each line in this scheme represents one stanza. The main metaphorical meaning of the poem is hidden in the concluding part. Given the backstory, many critics read the poem as a meditation on the frustrations of the creative act. 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. In the introduction of The Lyrical Ballads 1798 , Wordsworth and Coleridge professed their points of view regarding the nature of lyric poetry and their own practical principle to be employed in their poems. In the second part of the poem, the poet gives a picture of a poet caught in poetic frenzy.
The shadow of the dome of pleasure Floated midway on the waves; Where was heard the mingled measure From the fountain and the caves. 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! And all who heard should see them there, And all should cry, Beware! So when you hit that grain, it would bounce and tumble around like the rocks in the raging River Alph. Here Coleridge is dealing with the theory of poetic inspiration. The pleasure dome for the poet is a miracle of art because it includes 'sunny-dome' and 'caves of ice' - life and death. Does this feel like a real place and a real person? He doesn't want to just duplicate them, he wants his poetry to be them.
The shadow of the dome of pleasure Floated midway on the waves; Where was heard the mingled measure From the fountain and the caves. A warrior's life is made up of war and destruction but there must be time for their softer emotions when they try to take care of this earth and admire all it's beauty. Kublai and his kingdom have captured the imaginations of Western artists and writers for centuries largely in part due to the writings of Marco Polo, the Venetian trader who travelled to China and befriended Kublai Khan. This shift thus represents a move to a separate, deeper layer of reality within the poem. There are bright gardens and ancient forests forming a vast green spot. 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. This poem describes Xanadu, the palace of Kubla Khan, a Mongol emperor and the grandson of Genghis Khan.
Like Xanadu, art offers a refuge from the chaos. In the final section, the poet speaks of a strange vision of an Abyssinian maid playing on her dulcimer and singing of the wild splendour of Mount Abora. Kubla Khan, a vision in a dream is a fragmentary dream 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. And all who heard should see them there, And all should cry, Beware! Yet from the still surviving recollections in his mind, the Author has frequently purposed to finish for himself what had been originally, as it were, given to him: but the to-morrow is yet to come. 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. The assonance and alliteration soften the impact of the terminal rhyme and establish a sensation of movement to reinforce the image of the flowing river with the shadow of the pleasure dome floating upon it.