Q.1.   In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree” and then follows the most imaginative poem. What does Coleridge describe in this poem? 2004 II

Or     Describe the fantastic and dreamlike atmosphere of the poem. 2003I

Or     Discuss the poem as a fantasy. 2002 II

Or     Critically appreciate Kubla Khan by ST Coleridge. 2004 (S-I)


The speaker describes the “stately pleasure-dome” built-in Xanadu in compliance with the decree of Kubla Khan, in the place where Alph, the sacred river, ran “through caverns measureless to man / Down to a sunless sea.” Walls and towers were raised around “twice five miles of fertile ground,” filled with beautiful gardens and forests.

A “deep romantic chasm” slanted down a green hill, occasionally spewing forth a violent and powerful burst of water, so great that it flung boulders up with it “like rebounding hail.” The river ran five miles through the woods, finally sinking “in tumult to a lifeless ocean.” Amid that tumult, in the place “as holy and enchanted / As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted By woman wailing to her demon-lover,” Kubla heard “ancestral voices” bringing prophecies of war. The pleasure dome’s shadow floated on the waves, where the mingled sounds of the fountain and the caves could be heard. “It was a miracle of rare device,” the speaker says, “A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!”

The speaker says that he once saw a “damsel with a dulcimer,” an Abyssinian maid who played her dulcimer and sang “of Mount Abora.” He says that if he could revive “her symphony and song” within him, he would rebuild the pleasure-dome out of music, and all who heard him would cry “Beware!” of “His flashing eyes, his floating hair!” The hearers would circle him thrice and close their eyes with “holy dread,” knowing that he had tasted honeydew, “and drunk the milk of Paradise.”


Q.2.   Make a comparison between Tartary and Xanadu. 2002 II


          There is a great similarity between both the poems.

  • Both are the creation of the poet’s imagination,
  • Both the poems are about imaginary places or cities,
  • Both are beautifully drawn iv. Both are green.
  • Both have flowers and greenery,
  • Both have valleys, hills, dales, and streams,
  • Tartary is a journey into the world of imagination, Xanadu is a supernatural place,
  • Tartary is a romantic, beautiful, rich, fertile land full of unheard-of music and unseen delights. Xanadu has a sunless sea with a sacred river Alph flowing in it. It has bright gardens and sinuous rills, blossoming trees, and forests as ancient as hills.
  • Tartary is a place of peace and tranquility. Xanadu is a noisy place. It is called savage by the poet. It is haunted by a woman wailing for her demon-lover,
  • In Tartary, we have a throne made of pure gold and court flaunting by peacocks, forests with tigers, great fish in the pools, and musical instruments!! playing there.
  • In Xanadu, a sacred river flows among dancing rocks and smiles to a sunless ocean. In this situation, Kubla Khan hears the ancestral prophecy of war. In Tartary, the poet himself gets ready for war.


Q.3.   What images has Coleridge used in “Kubla Khan.”


          The poet has used deep audiovisual tangible images in the poem Kubla Khan. i. The first image is that of Kubla Khan. We find him in the beginning order to build a beautiful palace in Xanadu, ii. Another image is of the “twice five miles of the fertile ground” having sensual beauty for man. iii. There are “caves measureless to man” “green hills” and “cedarn cover” at the side of hills, the “sacred river” flowing in a “Meandering motion” through the “hills, valleys” and “caves”. There are “fountains” gushing forth from the “Dancing Rocks” and deep chasm and “damsel” with a “Dulcimer”, iv. I here am Audio-images of “ancestral voice” half intermitted burst” and “beware beware”.

The river is the symbol of eternity after death. The valleys with beautiful flowers and songs of the girl are a symbol of paradise on earth. AH of these symbols and images combine to create a rich fertile land and charm the reader. The reader is so lost in the pictures that he forgets his cares and worries for the time being and is transported with the poet to this beautiful land

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