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Coleridge’s Poetry

Summary

“Kubla Khan”

Summary “Kubla Khan”

The fourth stanza states the theme of the poem as a whole (though “Kubla Khan” is almost impossible to consider as a unified whole, as its parts are so sharply divided). The speaker says that he once had a vision of the damsel singing of Mount Abora; this vision becomes a metaphor for Coleridge’s vision of the 300-hundred-line masterpiece he never completed. The speaker insists that if he could only “revive” within him “her symphony and song,” he would recreate the pleasure-dome out of music and words, and take on the persona of the magician or visionary. His hearers would recognize the dangerous power of the vision, which would manifest itself in his “flashing eyes” and “floating hair.” But, awestruck, they would nonetheless dutifully take part in the ritual, recognizing that “he on honey-dew hath fed, / And drunk the milk of Paradise.”

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