Kumbla Khan by Samuel Coleridge

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Discuss Coleridge’s presentation of the imagery landscape

Coleridge has various ideas that are presented throughout the poem. The poem can be interpreted through many different levels, depending on the perception of the reader. Kubla Khan is infamously known as the poem that Coleridge was interrupted while writing it and that the ending of them poem is not intentional but rather all that was found once he got back to writing.  Perceptions of the poem such as this one engages in the element of the poet’s life that was consumed by drugs, which lead to him creating a poem that existed in a pensive state. Other connotations of Kubla Khan follow that Coleridge had little confidence in his poems and therefore turned to drugs, this increasing and enhancing his vivid imagination that lead him to produce such descriptive and fragmented poems. Kubla Khan flows in a way that allows the reader to take on their own view of what is behind them poem, for example one reader’s take on the poem may be that it is discussing the journey or love. The poem’s reference to a river is often given the connotations of a journey “a sunny pleasure-dome” is conveyed to be the desired destination of the river. This can be perceived to be the journey of love finally reaching its destination, settling down. Throughout the landscape, the twists and turns of the river, through the beauty and the ugly “through caverns measureless to man down to a sunless sea” the destination was reached. Another outlook may for the same reasons choose to follow the path of the poem existing to depict the view of death, suggesting the river is in fact a person travelling through the experiences of life, finally reaching death as a destination.  

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Coleridge existed within the romantic poets, his work reflects the romanticism of his life. There are doubts to Coleridge’s heterosexuality and faithful nature in relationships. This can be reflected in Kubla Khan “a warning moon was haunted By woman waiting for her demon-lover!” through the reference to a demon-lover and the turmoil the woman faced, could convict Coleridge of a far from simple romantic life, and could insinuate that there where secrets he kept. Anybody who knows of Coleridge’s context knows he befriended Wordsworth and the two together spent much time, this is often speculated to whether the two ...

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