Question: while the poems Kubla khan by Coleridge and La belle Dame Sans Merci are spontaneous romantic poems, they deal with the theme of the supernatural at large.
The poems “Kubla Khan” and “La Belle Dame sans Merci” are one of the most beautiful romantic poems written by S.T.Coleridge and John Keats respectively. The poems are rich in imagery, imagination, and the faith of the poets in the supernatural. they glorify the beauty of nature by making the element of supernatural as an integral part of a romantic poem. One of the essential characteristics of a romantic poem is the presence of the supernatural, mythological, mysterious or gothic elements. The blending of the beautiful object of nature with the supernatural gives a magnetic touch to the poems. the two poems deal at large with demon, evil, death, magic, fairy, mystery, mythology, dream and can certainly be called romantic poems inspired by the element of the supernatural.Order now
Coleridge in his poem talks about Kubla Khan who orders a magnificent palace to be built in his capital city, Xanadu. This rare palace is to be made amid the forests, the hills, the lakes and the river. in short what Kubla dreams is not natural; it s supernatural. The river originates from a near by hill and after five miles merges with the Dead Sea. “Where Alph, the sacred river, ran through caverns measureless to man down to a sunless sea” The forests are full of aromatic trees, and the place is green to the very core. Another very beautiful aspect is a romantic chasm which is the point of origin of the river Alph. Thus, in short the place has all the beauty of the Garden of Eden. But Kubla Khan will have to bear with the consequences of creating a paradise on Earth, and crossing the limits of natural.
The poet wants to emphasize that a holy place can also be evil. If the site for the place is as beautiful as paradise, it is a haunted place as well. It is fit for a woman who is searching for her demon lover who has vanished after seducing her. “as holy and enchanted as e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted by woman wailing for her demon-lover!” The place is very savage and supernatural since ‘Kubla Khan’ hears his ancestor prophesying wars. Thus, this heaven of ‘Kubla Khan’ can also be compared to hell. The palace was constructed. It was a miracle of art and architecture. The dome was sunny but there were also caves of ice in it. the dead ancestors predict the advent of the supernatural by predicting that there are wars in store for future.
The poet now talks about his dream in which he saw an Egyptian girl. She was playing on her Dulcimer as she sang a melodious song in the praise of Mount Abora. Her song was divine as the girl was very pure. The poet is of the opinion that if he could get hold of that divine music, he would be able to create miracles through its symphony and power. The poet says that he will be able to create the pleasure palace of ‘Kubla Khan’ in mid air with the divine music. “To such a deep delight’t would win me that with music loud and long, I would build that dome within air”. the divine music will send him in a state of supernatural frenzy that will help him achieve the impossible.
If Coleridge talks about the miserable fate of ‘Kubla Khan’,
John Keats in his poem ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’ talks about the miserable condition of a knight-at-arms. The poet finds this knight in a very bad condition, lying all alone in bitterly cold weather. The place is so cold that even the birds and squirrels have hibernated. It is so strange that the poet sees drops of sweat on his forehead even though it is extremely cold. thus Keats blend his poem with the supernatural in the very beginning.The knight then replies to the poet’s query and says that he had met a captivating lady in a garden. “I met a lady in the meads, full beautiful – a faery’s child” The lady looks like a fairy’s child. this lady has a mysterious and supernatural touch on her, and she may be another Lilith or Lamia. Sick with love for her, the knight made garlands, armlets, bracelets and girdles for her. The knight then proposes to her and it is strange that she agree. To show her love she takes him to her cave. She kisses him there and makes him sleep through her supernatural powers. When the knight wakes up he finds that there is no fairy and her cave. He finds himself lying in a lonely field as he is transported from the supernatural to the natural world.
It is the last dream that he has had. In his dream he sees many dead kings and princes who warn him about his fate. They tell him that the dame without mercy is responsible for the deaths of all of them and that it is the turn of the knight at arms. “I saw pale kings and princes too, pale warriors, death-pale were they all they cried – ‘La Belle Dame sans Merci hath thee in thrall!’”. The poet talks that the knight is wandering because he has become obsessed with the mysterious lady. It is ironical that he keeps on searching for her till his death as the magic of the supernatural is cast on him.
In Kubla Khan there is a woman searching for her demon lover who has vanished after seducing her. In ‘La Belle Dame Sans Merci’ the lady seduces the knight besides the kings and the princes and disappears from the scene. The incidents of the demon and the fairy give a mysterious touch to these poems. besides it, in Kubla khan we find the dead ancestors warning kubla of his death while in Keats’ poem the pale dead warrior kings and princes warn the knight of his impending death.The poets have created a weird atmosphere in the poems to befit these supernatural creatures. To conclude it can be said that in these poems the poets have beautifully blended the natural with the supernatural. The presence of the demon lover, prophesies of the ancestors, fairy’s child and the dead kings strengthen the supernatural element in the poems, and send the reader to a flight of romantic imagination. It is the effect of the supernatural and the mythological that has given these poems the charm of romantic poems.