Kubla Khan

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"Kubla Khan" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge reveals the power of the imaginative poetry. This poetry has the ability to create kingdoms and paradise. In this poem Coleridge is expressing heaven and hell through his own eyes just as the aplostles did in the "Bible" and Milton did in "Paradise Lost".

The poem begins with a mythical tone, "In Xanadu did Kubla Khan/ A stately pleasure dome decree." The poem does not give specifics to the construction of the palace. It just states that Khan decreed the palace be built and then begins describing the palace. The poem's method of creating a vision of the "pleasure dome" is similar to the biblical tale of the creation of the Garden of Eden. As Eden was created by God, the "pleasure dome" created was by the power of Kubla Khan. The use of the word "decree" implies that it was Khan's will that created the pleasure dome. The wonderful kingdom of the ancient Kubla Khan and the setting that surrounds it is described with heavenly, dreamlike vividness. The kingdom that Kubla Khan creates is described as "stately pleasure dome." The image of a dome is like the hemisphere of the sky or a world. By describing the dome as a "pleasure dome" the poet presents Khan's kingdom as paradise-like. This paradise-kingdom consists of ten miles of "fertile ground" surrounded securely by walls that are "girdled" around. Its gardens are bright, and "blossoming with many an incense bearing tree" and are watered by wandering streams. The river, the thing that gives life to Khan's creation runs "through caverns measureless to man/down to a sunless sea". The destination of the sacred river of the pleasure dome is "measureless" to man. The river metaphorically represents nature as the source of life of al creation. In the second stanza the poem shifts focus from the perfect "pleasure dome" created by "Kubla Khan" to the confused landscape that surrounds it. The "sunny spots of greenery" in Khan's realm in the first stanza...
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