Coleridge's Kubla Khan and the Process of Creativity Essay

Coleridge's Kubla Khan and the Process of Creativity Essay

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Coleridge's Kubla Khan and the Process of Creativity


Coleridge's " Kubla Khan" is an extremely enchanting poem which is
based around the 'stately pleasure dome' of the emperor, Kubla Khan.
Although the poem is set around this pleasure dome, it can be noticed
that the poem had profound depth to it. If one is able to understand
the hidden symbols and meanings within the poem, it becomes clear that
Coleridge's " Kubloa Khan" does not simply describe a pleasure dome,
it is also a prolonged metaphore for the process of creativity.
From the immediate start of the poem, the reader finds themselves
subjected to interprete these hidden symbols.

' In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure dome decree;
Where Alph, the sacred river ran'

Although this passage seems straight forward, it contains the
essential first three symbols of which the entire poem is based upon.
' Xanadu' symbolises the poet's mind, as Xanadu like the mind is the
site where all the forecoming events take place. Kubla Khan actually
exsisted in real life as the sole ruler of an Asian empire and had an
extreme amount of power. This is why perhaps, Coleridge chose Kubla
Khan to represent the poet, ( himself). This would not have been an
extraordinary choice for Coleridge to make, as he belonged to a group
of poets called the Romantics who believed that they could see things
clearer and feel emotions and experiences more intensely than other
people. Kubla Khan's power over his empire of Xanadu would therefore
represent the poet's power and control over his mind. The sacred
river, 'Alph' symbolises the poet's imagination. This symbol is
exceptionally significant as the poem follows the path of the flowing
river and therefore enables the read...


... middle of paper ...


...d off by
inspiration. The process is amazingly powerful and both mentally and
physically tiring and it's results, like the pleasure dome of Xanadu
are remarkable. Coleridge uses many clever techniques such as
alliteration, methaphores, onamatapeia, comparisons and hidden symbols
to emphasise the impact and intensity of the process of creativity.
Coleridge also structures his poem to suit the style of his poem. The
first stanza, gives an insight in to what it to come and what can be
acheived by the process of creativity and acts as a sort of
introduction for the process. The second stanza is extremely detailed
and lively and shows the actual process of creativity. The third
stanza almost defends Coleridge's work and ends the poem with the
message that no-one could ever understand let alone feel the
Coleridge's experiences in the way that he can and does.

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