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Home » » Kubla khan as a romantic poem

One of the most well-known poets of the First Generation Romantic Age was Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1844). His collaboration with William Wordsworth on their work "Lyrical ballads," which inspired the Romantic movement, has made him famous. Since childhood, he was very imaginative, and in his well-known essay "Biographia Literaria," he came up with his own ideas about imagination. The supernatural elements that played a significant role in his poems were the most significant aspect of his treatment.

The poem's structure is based on the supernatural. In the poem, the implication is to grant human traits and qualities. The poem makes this clear by showing how the supernatural realm of "Xanadu" embodies the living qualities of "fertile ground" and "gardens" and serves as a setting for human existence. The "incense-bearing tree" demonstrates the existential acclimatization of human senses to the organic tree's incense. In addition, the creative moment when "Kubla heard from far/ Ancestral voices prophesied war" establishes the vision quality within the mind.

In addition, "Kubla Khan" possesses mysticism as another significant quality. He ascends into the "savage" and "holy and enchanted" "cedarn cover" realm of "Xanadu." The description of an entity, such as a "woman wailing for her demon-lover," and the conscious construction of the landscape to be "a waning moon was haunted," give the impression that the location inside possesses a mystifying underlying energy.

Coleridge introduces the organic form, in which the materials used in the poem should be used to structure the poem. The poem itself is built in an organic way, with the interior landscape of "Xanadu" being organic inside and the materials building the surface or the fancy being the poet's dream. It would appear that the poem came to him while he was sleeping, and he recalled the dream memory that serves as the subject and material for the poem's entire structure.

However, in his poem, he makes use of creative symbols that are profound. "Kubla Khan" is a symbol of the creative process, and the opening line "In Xanadu did Kubla Khan/...... to a sunless sea/" is full of creative imagination and symbolism. The "dome" is a symbol of creation or the human mind, whereas the "Xanadu" is a mental landscape. The "scared river" or "Alph," which runs through the "caverns" and becomes a symbol of the conscious mind, is the "scared river" or "materials perceived from primary imagination." The perceived materials are then conveyed to the "sunless sea," which is a metaphor for the secondary imagination, or unconscious mind, that will alter and modify these materials. In addition, the image of "thick pants were breathing" could represent a shift to another ethereal world or the repression of the dream that resulted in the fragments. Repression causes the "mighty fountain" symbol to become fragmented.

The Romantic imagination is infused in "Kubla Khan," which Coleridge classified as primary and secondary imagination. The dream can be viewed as a source of primary imagination, and the faculty of secondary imagination, also known as a poetic imagination, begins to modify and alter the dream to give the poem its organic form. The poem emphasizes the fragmented nature of dreams, which "reached the caverns measureless to man/ And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean" and "rebounding hail" respectively. The lines suggest that dreams are scattered, that a single dream can change, come back, or rebound, and that creativity starts to process again by moving from the conscious mind to the "lifeless ocean" or unconscious mind.

Last but not least, his writing has a significant Hellenistic influence. The fact that he mentions the "Abyssinian Maid" in "Kubla Khan" while she was singing and playing her "dulcimer" also demonstrates his imagination and creativity. It could be interpreted as the secondary imagination combining or altering the materials to suggest a meaning and become a symbol of anticipating a disaster in the future. 


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