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BSc BA ADP English Poem Kubla Khan By S. T. Coleridge Summary & Introduction

English Notes Poem Kubla Khan(S. T. Coleridge English Notes Poem Kubla Khan (S. T. Coleridge)


Kubla Khan (S. T. Coleridge) Introduction

This is a very extra-ordinary poem written by the poet when he was only 25 and his poetical faculties were at the top. He once fell sick and under the influence of drug (opium), he saw a vision or dream while asleep. Before going to sleep, he was reading in a book named Purchas’s Pilgrims that Kubla Khan had commanded a palace to be built with an attached stately garden. Under the influence of the drug, he saw a detail of that palace etc., and composed a poem – this great masterpiece.

Kubla Khan (S. T. Coleridge) Summary

Once Kubla Khan, the King of China, ordered for building a great palace in the city called Xanadu. The order was at once obeyed. The palace was encircled by a wall. The total area thus encircled was 10 miles. There were beautiful hills and dense forests in the area. There was also a deep chasm out of which came out a river forcefully in the form of a fountain. The river was sacred and its name was the Alph. The Alph ran for miles in a zigzag way and, at last, fell into a dark sea where sun never threw its rays.
The dome of that grand palace was very beautiful and bright. It was sunlit. Its shadows fell on the sacred river Alph. The fountain gushed forth with a great noise and among that noise Kubla Khan heard loud voices of his forefathers foretelling that a great war would be fought in the coming future.
The vision of the poet was disturbed here as some fellow called on him. When the poet sat to complete his poem, he wrote the second piece.

Once the poet saw an Abyssinian maiden in his dream. She was playing on a musical instrument called dulcimer and singing a song of the Mount Abora. Her song was very inspiring and delightful. It was so exciting that if the poet could remember the song of the lady, he would be able to rebuild the pleasure-dome of Kubla Khan’s palace in his imagination. Then the people would be able to see for themselves the sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice and they would beware of him because he would have flashing eyes and floating hair. They would take him for a saint who had eaten honey-dew and the milk of paradise, i.e., Divine food.

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