Dreaming is the ultimate act of imagination. In dreams our imagination is allowed to run wild and can create images and ideas that we may not be able to comprehend in real life. Coleridge composed this poem after awakening from a dream and this may be the thought behind this quote. I feel this quote is very true; the poem is full of very outrageous images and ideas. Coleridge was an outrageous man and wrote this poem after a drug induced sleep. He lived in a world where people could not escape very easily.
They couldn’t take off on a plane and leave their world behind them, they would not travel much and only the rich would travel abroad. I feel Coleridge wanted to escape and in this poem he shows how he escapes. He enters into another world, a world where there is pleasure of inexhaustible amounts. There is sex, drugs and beautiful scenes all around. The poem is this world he wants to create; Coleridge uses his imagination to create this place and describes it to us in the poem. The imaginative process I feel is to be creative, creating dramatic or simple images of your own.
Within Kubla Khan there are many remarkable and interesting images, the first verse being a good example of this. It begins with the setting, Xanadu, a pleasure dome, where the River Alph runs through. It has walls all around and gardens, with blossoming incense bearing trees and forests as ancient as the hills surrounding this creation of beauty. A place that Coleridge created and one he wants to escape to. Between the lines there are a few things going on that are underlying the main or most obvious view of the poem.
Throughout the poem there are many sexually charged and erotic lines. that deep romantic chasm that slanted,” “women wailing for her demon lover,” “A mighty fountain momently was forced: Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst” and “It flung up momently the sacred river. ” These quotes seem to symbolise the act of sex. Throughout he talks of pleasure domes an area that he can control and he can make love and enjoy his surrounding. Though underlying the physical act of love is the ultimate act of creativity through making life and bringing a person into the world. “And ‘mid these dancing rocks at once and ever It flung up momently the sacred river.
This quote supports what I have said about creating life. The sacred river is a strong feature throughout the poem and I feel symbolises life itself. If we make this assumption then we could say that the “dancing rocks” are the lovers. “It flung up momently the sacred river” is a child being given life, from this love a baby is created and given life. This is an example of the messages within the poem and that it is not simply a metaphor for the imaginative process, but also many other messages entwine this view. Another message could be that this poem is a warning about addiction.
Coleridge has tasted the “milk of paradise” and is warning us of its consequences. Opium allows Coleridge tom escape and experience the World he wants to be in. But once the opium wears off, going back to normal life could seem so depressing. Once you have reached zenith, the highest point you can reach, the only way is down, going lower until you hit nadir, the lowest of the low. The opium can give this zenith, but you will constantly need this to get the slightest buzz as the rest of normal life will seem so mind-numbingly monotonous. Coleridge might be warning us that being addicted to drugs is not the high it could appear to be.
The view that this poem is just a metaphor for the imaginative process is a true one, but we can challenge this by saying that it is not simply this, and that Coleridge has entwined many other messages within the poem. The poems actual goal and meaning could be debated about for a long time and I feel whatever understanding of the poem you have and you believe to be true, is true, there is no right or wrong answer to the meaning of this poem and Coleridge himself may not even be able to decipher the true answer to many aspects of the poem ‘Kubla Khan. ‘