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Kubla Khan; or, A Vision in a Dream: A Fragment

Added on - 17 Sep 2021

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The poem “Kubla Khan; or, A Vision in a Dream: A Fragment” was composed by the
celebrated poet of the Romantic era, Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The poem was reportedly
completed in the year 1797 however, the poem was published in the year 1816. The author
opines that the poem was composed when the poet was under the influence of opium. The poet is
reported to have composed the poem in discussion, “Kubla Khan; or, A Vision in a Dream: A
Fragment”, while being under the haze of opium. The following essay deals with the analysis of
the poem on the light of several constituents that are related to the composition of the poem.
The speaker of “Kubla Khan; or, A Vision in a Dream: A Fragment”, is unknown to the
reader. The speaker of the poem is observed to be retelling the readers of the journey of Kubla
Khan to Xanadu. There are discrepancies in the views that are shared by the scholars regarding
the speaker as well as the setting of the poem. Some scholars believe that the poem is all about
the great Mongolian emperor, Kubla Khan, who had his summer palace at a beautiful place
named Xanadu (Longenbach). The scholars, however, agree on the fact that the speaker of the
poem is an unnamed individual. The speaker of the poem serves the purpose of the describing
the localities wherein the palace is located. In the first section of the poem, the speaker attempts
to describe the grand palace that is present in Xanadu. The speaker of the poem describes the
grandeur and the lavish nature of the palace all through the first part of the poem. The speaker
proceeds to describe the melodious voice of an Abyssinian maid who had been singing near the
palace and describes the vision in the closing section of the poem.
The poem consists of four major stanzas divided into two sections. The poem is known to
be a fragmented poem. The first three stanzas deal with the summer palace of Kubla Khan and
the grandeur of the place. This section aims at the description of the palace and the beauty of the
area wherein the palace is situated. The poet in this section is observed to have been offering his
readers with a vivid description of the palace, the surroundings of the palace, the interiors of the
palace. The poet even offers a description of the Abyssinian maid who has been observed to be
singing about “Mount Abora” (Longenbach). The second part consists of the vivid description of
the vision that was dreamt of by the poet. The poem is written in the rhythmic iambic tetrameter.
This pattern is also known as the form of the poem. The iambic form of poem composition refers
to the fact that the poem is composed majorly of bi-syllabic units. The stress of the words lies
majorly on the second syllable.
The poem follows alternative rhyme schemes. The first stanza of the poem follows the
rhyme scheme,abaabccddede. The rhyme scheme of the second stanza changes to the expansion
into the tetrameter and follows theabaabccddffgghiihjjrhyme scheme. The tetrameter finds
usage in the third stanza as well. The tetrameter in the third stanza is observed to have tightened
and the rhyme scheme followed isababcc. The fourth stanza of the poem is observed to have
been continuing with the pattern of the third stanza and the rhyme scheme followed in this
section is theabccbdedefgfffghhgpattern of rhyme. The poem is composed in blank verse.
The poet uses certain areas of alliteration within the poem like “measureless to man” (line
4), “sunless sea” (line 5), “five miles of fertile” (line 6). The poet uses certain areas of assonance
within the poem like “twice five” (line 6), “there were” (line 8), “chaffy grain” (line 22). The
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