Romantic Elements in The Poem Kubla Khan

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      Kubla Khan is a concentration of romantic features. Content and style together evoke an atmosphere of wonder and romance and enchantment.

      Supernaturalism. A basic feature of Coleridge's poetic art is his ability to render supernatural phenomena with artistry. This is also a characteristic of Romantic poetry. While Kubla Khan is not a supernatural poem in the conventional sense, some phrases in the poem collectively give it an atmosphere of other-worldly enchantment. The "caverns measureless to man a "sunless sea", a "woman wailing for her demon lover", 'the mighty fountain forced momentous from that romantic chasm" - these are all touches, which create an atmosphere of mystery and arouse awe. But the description is so precise and vivid that no sense of unreality is created.

      Sensuous Description. Romantic poetry is also characterized by sensuousness. Like Keats, Coleridge exhibits a keen observation. There are sensuous phrases and pictures in Kubla Khan. The bright gardens, the incense-bearing trees with sweet blossoms, the sunny spots of greenery, rocks vaulting like rebounding hail, the sunless caverns these are highly sensuous images. Equally sensuous is the vision of the Abyssinian maid playing on the dulcimer and singing a sweet song.

      Distant Setting. References to distant lands and far-off places emphasise the romantic character of Kubla Khan. Xanadu, Alph, Mount Abora belong to the geography of romance and contribute to the romantic atmosphere. There are highly suggestive lines in the poem and they, too, are romantic in character. For instance, the picture of a woman wailing for her demon-lover under a waning moon, is very suggestive - "a savage place.....holy and enchanted" Coleridge calls it. Equally suggestive are these lines:

And mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war..

      Poetic creation. The picture of the divinely has inspired poet in the closing lines is typically romantic. No writer imbued with the classical spirit have written these lines where the poet is presented as a divinely inspired creator. The poet achieves an awesome personality of whom the ordinary persons must "Beware".

      Dream-like quality. Kubla Khan, is a work of pure fancy, the result of sheer imagination. The dream-like atmosphere of the poem is purely romantic.

University Questions

Consider Kubla Khan as an example of Romantic poem.
Bring out the romantic features of Kubla Khan.

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