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Module 1: Coleridge Kubla Khan

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Music and Kubla Khan

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XSIQ
*

English - Music

Music

References to the poem's 'music' are references to the plays on sound that
abound in the poem and those experiments with sound are indeed everywhere
in the poem. The poem opens with the line:

'IN XANADU DID KUBLA KHAN' (l.1)

Notice how each vowel from the beginnings balanced by an identical one
further on in the line (In-did/Xan-Khan/a-bla/du-Ku). Moreover, each line
in the opening cinquain (a self-contained section of five lines) ends with
an alliterated phrase:

KUBLA KHAN/DOME DECREE/RIVER, RAN/MEASURELESS TO MAN/SUNLESS SEA

This pattern of alliteration is repeated in later groups of lines:
MAZY MOTION/RIVER RAN/MEASURELESS TO MAN (ll.25-27);
SYMPHONY AND SONG/DEEP DELIGHT/LOUD AND LONG (ll.43-45).

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