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Contrast And Comparison Of Wordsworth's Tintern Abbey And Colderidges' Kubla Khan

1614 words - 6 pages

Contrast and Comparison of Wordsworth's Tintern Abbeyand Colderidges' Kubla KhanWhen comparing William Wordsworth's Tintern Abbey, and Samuel Colderidge's "Kubla Khan", one notices a distinct difference in the use of imagination within the two poems. Even though the two poets were contemporaries and friends, Wordsworth and Colderidge each have an original and different way in which they introduce images and ideas into their poetry. These differences give the reader quite a unique experience when reading the works of these two authors. Through the imagination of the poet, the reader can also gain insight into the mind and personality of the poet himself. These ideas will be explored through analysis and comparison of the two poems, with the intent to better understand the imagination of each poet, and therefore, to possibly better understand the poet himself.In Tintern Abbey, Wordsworth begins with a lengthy description of the Wye river and the woods surrounding its banks. He paints a wonderful picture of the area in general within the following lines:The wild green landscape. Once again I seeThese hedge-rows, hardly hedge-rows, little linesOf supportive wood run wild; these pastoral farmsGreen to the very door; and wreathes of smokeSent up, in silence, from among the trees (15-19)Wordsworth takes these colorful physical descriptions and begins to associate these images with the spirit of man and all that is good and pure. This idea is reached in the climax of the poem where he goes on to describe nature as being:The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurseThe guide, the guardian of my heart, and soulOf all my moral being. (110-112)The effect is one where Wordsworth takes a humble and beautiful setting and expands the ideas until the same images become cosmic and sublime, relating to the very nature of man and to life itself. Colderidge uses a different type of imagery in "Kubla Khan". He takes an almost super-natural and dreamlike setting, and brings the reader to a grand conclusion much the way that Wordsworth does in his poem. Colderidge begins his poem with the lines:In Xanadu did Kubla KhanA stately pleasure-dome decree:Where Alph, the sacred river, ranThrough the caverns measureless to manDown to a sunless sea. (1-5)These lines paint a fantasy based image and set the tone for the rest of the poem which brings the reader to a magical far away land where there exists a "deep romantic chasm" and "caves of ice". Even though these images are not necessarily of this earth, Colderidge makes a point about art and its effects on man which is stated in the ines:Her symphony and song,To such a deep delight 'twould win me,That with music loud and long,I would build that dome in air, (43-46)As well as in the line, " And all who heard should see them there,"(48) which is suggesting that certain images and/or sounds can cause the mind to recreate past memories and experiences. Both Wordsworth and Colderidge are similar in that they each use the description...

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