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BSc BA ADP English Poem Kubla Khan By  S. T. Coleridge Reference Context Explanation

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

 

Poem:

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.
 
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.
 
But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
 
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.
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!
 
   The shadow of the dome of pleasure
   Floated midway on the waves;
   Where was heard the mingled measure
   From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!
 
   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.
 
   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! those caves of ice!
 
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
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.

Reference, Context and Explanation:

Lines 1-5: In Xanadu … sunless sea.

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.

Reference:

These lines have been taken from the poem “Kubla Khan” by S. T. Coleridge.

Context:

The poet tells us is this poem how once Kubla Khan, the Emperor of China, ordered a palace to be built. The order was obeyed and a pleasure palace was constructed with sunny domes and caves of ice. The poet wishes to recreate the same with the magical power of his poetry.

Explanation:

The poet tells us in these lines that Kubla Khan ordered that a royal palace with a large dome should be built for him in Xanadu where the sacred river Alph ran through caves which were so deep that no man could measure their depth. The river, later on, fell into a dark ocean.

Lines 6-11: So twice five … greenery.

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.

Reference:

These lines have been taken from the poem “Kubla Khan” by S. T. Coleridge.

Context:

The poet tells us is this poem how once Kubla Khan, the Emperor of China, ordered a palace to be built. The order was obeyed and a pleasure palace was constructed with sunny domes and caves of ice. The poet wishes to recreate the same with the magical power of his poetry.

Explanation:

The poet tells us that at the order of Kubla Khan, ten miles of fertile ground was encircles with walls and towers. There were sweet and beautiful gardens with zigzagging rivulets and streams. Many a sweet-smelling tree blossomed there in the garden. There were dense forests all around the hills and in the middle of these forests there were many sunlit places.

Lines 12-16: But oh! … demon-lover.

But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place! as holy and enchanted
As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
By woman wailing for her demon-lover!

Reference:

These lines have been taken from the poem “Kubla Khan” by S. T. Coleridge.

Context:

The poet tells us is this poem how once Kubla Khan, the Emperor of China, ordered a palace to be built. The order was obeyed and a pleasure palace was constructed with sunny domes and caves of ice. The poet wishes to recreate the same with the magical power of his poetry.

Explanation:

The poet tells us that there was a deep and romantic cave in that side of the hill which was overgrown with cedar trees. It seemed to be a very strange and wild place. It seemed as holy and enchanted a place as ever found beneath a dull, yellow, decreasing moon where a sad and sorrowful woman was found weeping and crying in separation of her ghost-lover.

Lines 17-22: And from this … thresher’s flail.

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:

Reference:

These lines have been taken from the poem “Kubla Khan” by S. T. Coleridge.

Context:

The poet tells us is this poem how once Kubla Khan, the Emperor of China, ordered a palace to be built. The order was obeyed and a pleasure palace was constructed with sunny domes and caves of ice. The poet wishes to recreate the same with the magical power of his poetry.

Explanation:

The poet tells us something about the fountain that came out of the cave in the side of the cedar-covered hill. The fountain came out with a great force as if the very earth was breathing. It was so forceful that many pieces of stones flew with its force as grain and chaff  flow out of a thresher’s work.

Lines 23-30: And ‘mind these … prophesying war.

And mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
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!

Reference:

These lines have been taken from the poem “Kubla Khan” by S. T. Coleridge.

Context:

The poet tells us is this poem how once Kubla Khan, the Emperor of China, ordered a palace to be built. The order was obeyed and a pleasure palace was constructed with sunny domes and caves of ice. The poet wishes to recreate the same with the magical power of his poetry.

Explanation:

The poet tells us here that the fountain described in the earlier lines later turned into river. It flowed for five miles in a zigzag way. It flowed through many forests, valleys and caves. At last it fell into a dark, sunless sea. When Kubla Khan reached that place, he heard strange loud noise. Out of that loud noise he heard the voices of his forefathers (like Genghis Khan’s) that foretold him about a war.

Lines 31-36: The shadows of … caves of ice.

   The shadow of the dome of pleasure
   Floated midway on the waves;
   Where was heard the mingled measure
   From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

Reference:

These lines have been taken from the poem “Kubla Khan” by S. T. Coleridge.

Context:

The poet tells us is this poem how once Kubla Khan, the Emperor of China, ordered a palace to be built. The order was obeyed and a pleasure palace was constructed with sunny domes and caves of ice. The poet wishes to recreate the same with the magical power of his poetry.

Explanation:

The poet tells us in these lines about the pleasure dome of Kubla Khan that he had ordered to be built in Xanadu and that was built accordingly. The shadow of that pleasure-dome floated on the waves of the water at the place where a great noise was coming from the fountain and the caves. It was a strange type of scene because the pleasure dome was sun-lit whereas the caves had too much snow that it had become hard and turned into ice. It was a strange combination of sun and snow at one and the same place.

Lines 37-41: A damsel with … Mount Abora.

   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.

Reference:

These lines have been taken from the poem “Kubla Khan” by S. T. Coleridge.

Context:

The poet tells us is this poem how once Kubla Khan, the Emperor of China, ordered a palace to be built. The order was obeyed and a pleasure palace was constructed with sunny domes and caves of ice. The poet wishes to recreate the same with the magical power of his poetry.

Explanation:

In these lines the poet tells us that once upon a time he saw an Abyssinian maiden playing music on her dulcimer. She was singing a pleasant and inspiring folk song of Mount Abora area/locality.

Lines 42-47: Could I revive … caves of ice!

   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! those caves of ice!

Reference:

These lines have been taken from the poem “Kubla Khan” by S. T. Coleridge.

Context:

The poet tells us is this poem how once Kubla Khan, the Emperor of China, ordered a palace to be built. The order was obeyed and a pleasure palace was constructed with sunny domes and caves of ice. The poet wishes to recreate the same with the magical power of his poetry.

Explanation:

The poet tells us in these lines that if he could remember the sweet and enchanting song of the Abyssinian maiden referred to in the earlier lines, he would be able to build the pleasure-dome of Kubla Khan with all its beautiful and magnificent details like sunlit dome and icy caves.

Lines 48-54: And all who … Paradise.

And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
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.

Reference:

These lines have been taken from the poem “Kubla Khan” by S. T. Coleridge.

Context:

The poet tells us is this poem how once Kubla Khan, the Emperor of China, ordered a palace to be built. The order was obeyed and a pleasure palace was constructed with sunny domes and caves of ice. The poet wishes to recreate the same with the magical power of his poetry.

Explanation:

The pot tells us in these lines that if he would be able to build the pleasure dome of Kubla Khan with all its sunlit dome and caves of ice under the inspiration of Abyssinian maiden’s song, the people standing around him would cry with surprise and wonder. They would tell one another to beware of the poet, to weave a circle thrice round him and to close their eyes due to a holy fear of the poet. He would seem to be a saint, having drunk such heavenly things as honey-dew and milk of Paradise.

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