Get your essays here, 33,000 to choose from!

Limited Time Offer at Free College Essays!!!

Kubla Khan

5 Pages 1370 Words

The Search For An Understanding
“Kubla Khan,” a poem by the English poet, critic, and philosopher Samuel Coleridge, is thought to be based on an opium-induced dream. Coleridge supposedly awoke from his drug-influenced sleep and began to compose what was to become a well-known piece. He was distracted; however, while jotting down the lines he had in mind by a knock at his door. When he returned to his work, he was unable to remember the remainder of his thoughts and was forced to create the closing of the poem. The poem is lyrical in tone, resembling a meditative poem or an ode. Coleridge composed “Kubla Khan” somewhere between 1797-1798 during what is known as the Romantic period, but did not have it published until 1826 when his colleague urged its publication. Due to the opium Coleridge had allegedly been taking, critics are unable to establish one true meaning of the work. Much controversy surrounds the “Kubla Khan” and the issues of its wholeness; however, most critics agree that although it is written as a fragment, the piece as a whole is complete in meaning.
One widely accepted analysis states that the “Kubla Khan” is nothing more than a fragment. It is known that Coleridge never wrote a piece that had any substantial length except for the “Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” which could be taken to mean that he was unable to complete a work. Coleridge himself initially subtitled the poem “A Vision in a Dream: A Fragment,” which further instates the poem as being incomplete (Mahony 2). There is a significant difference between the dreamed up words and the phrases used to finish the poem after being disrupted by a business man from Porlock (3). The poem’s preface gives Coleridge’s explanation of his reasons for publishing the poem as a fragment. Elisabeth Schneider states that, “The last eighteen lines are the poet’s explanation of his failure to complete the poem” (193). The last lin...

Page 1 of 5 Next >

Essays related to Kubla Khan