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Kubla Khan

Kubla Khan

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Published by Chanel CiCi Harris
Kubla Khan
Kubla Khan

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Published by: Chanel CiCi Harris on Aug 23, 2013
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Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The Romantic Movement changed the way art and literature represented the world by focusing on emotions, nature, and imagination. This emphasis can be seen in the work of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, one of the most influential poets of the era. In his poem “Kubla Khan,” Coleridge used dreamlike imagery to describe the fabulous palace of a Mongol emperor. The poem shows the author’s interest in the mysterious and the exotic, as well as the beauty and savagery of nature.
T H I N K T H R O U G H H I S T O R Y : Clarifying

How does Coleridge describe Kublai (also Kubla) Khan’s palace and the grounds surrounding it?



In Xanadu1 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,2 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!3 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 momently4 was forced: Amid whose swift half-intermitted5 burst Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail, Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail: And ‘mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
Xanadu: Shangdu, one of Kublai Khan’s residences in what is now northern China sinuous rills: winding streams athwart a cedarn cover: across a grove of cedar trees momently: at every moment half-intermitted: half-interrupted



1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

World History: Patterns of Interaction © McDougal Littell Inc.

The Pains of Sleep by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (London: Murray. A sunny pleasure dome with caves of ice! A damsel with a dulcimer6 In a vision once I saw: It was an Abyssinian7 maid. That sunny dome! those caves of ice! And all who heard should see them there. Where was heard the mingled measure From the fountain and the caves. now called Ethiopia 8.8 Could I revive within me Her symphony and song. 1816). That with music loud and long. For he on honeydew hath fed. Singing of Mount Abora. Five miles meandering with a mazy motion Through wood and dale the sacred river ran. 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. Abyssinian: from Abyssinia. To such a deep delight ‘twould win me. I would build that dome in air. a Vision. Then reached the caverns measureless to man.Kubla Khan 25 30 35 It flung up momently the sacred river. Kubla Khan. And on her dulcimer she played. It was a miracle of rare device. his floating hair! Weave a circle round him thrice. And close your eyes with holy dread. And all should cry. 6. Mount Abora: a legendary earthly paradise like Kublai Khan’s 2 World History: Patterns of Interaction © McDougal Littell Inc. Beware! Beware! His flashing eyes. . 40 45 50 Source: Christabel. dulcimer: a stringed musical instrument played with small hammers 7. And drunk the milk of Paradise.

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