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Kubla Khan And Ode On Grecian Urn

830 words - 3 pages

Although both “Kubla Khan,” by Samuel Coleridge and “Ode on Grecian Urn,” by John Keats are poems originating from the poets’ inspiration from historical figure, the two poems convey different messages through their respective metaphors. While Coleridge emphasizes on the process of creating a Romantic poem, Keats expresses his opinion about art by carefully examining the details of the Grecian urn.
In “Kubla Khan,” Coleridge expresses his desire to use the inspirations from nature to create his own “Paradise” of poetry (54, p.1634). In the first stanza, Coleridge creates an exotic oriental garden, where the trees, gardens, hills, and the “Alph” river, together present the beauty of Mother Nature (3, p.1633). Here, the poet carefully observes his surroundings, as the nature will serve as the source of inspiration for his poetry. The “pleasure dome” (2, p.1633) in line two has two functions, one representing the creation of human beings on earth, and the other being the foundation of Coleridge’s poetic paradise. As the clash between nature and humans takes place in the second stanza with a “woman wailing for her demon-lover” (16, p.1633) the poet calls upon nature for his inspiration, represented by the powerful activity of nature. The energy of nature is released in forms of “a might fountain” (19, p.1633), “rebounding hail” (21, p.1633), or “dancing rocks” (23, p.1633) and eventually the natural disasters will accompanied by man-made destruction as “Kubla heard from far Ancestral voices prophesying war” (29-30, p.1634)! Coleridge on one hand reinforces that man and nature are inseparable and one the other uses the energy of nature to represent the spontaneous spurring of emotions in the poet’s mind.
In the third stanza, all of the elements of nature and human creation unify into “a rare device, a sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice” (36, p.1634). With the formation of a “rare device”, symbolizing his masterpiece of poetry, Coleridge acknowledges that poetry forms through the combination of nature and human perception. In the end, Coleridge demands the readers to “beware” (49, p.1634) of the power of the inspired poet, who recreates his own “sunny dome” (47, p.1634) in the protection of a “circle round him thrice” (51, p.1634). The energy from nature is eventually transferred to the poet, the poet to use his imagination to create his own “Paradise” (54, p.1634), which resembles Xanadu of Kubla Khan. Through the metaphors developing in the poem, Coleridge pieces together the...

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