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Module 1: Coleridge Kubla Khan

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XSIQ
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English - Imagery

Imagery

Kubla creates a luxurious earthly paradise:

'So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
ENFOLDING SUNNY SPOTS OF GREENERY'. (ll.6-11)

The walls, towers and gardens represent the coming of order and
cultivation and civilisation to the wilderness - a process of containment,
control and organisation. The lawgiver and creator brings order.

The natural world around the dome is continually presented as untamed and
mysterious - the 'MEASURELESS' caverns, the 'SUNLESS SEA' and the origins
of the river itself:

'But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
DOWN THE GREEN HILL ATHWART A CEDARN COVER' (ll.12-13)

Again, note how words like 'DEEP...CHASM' AND 'COVER' emphasise the
hidden mysteriousness of the world in which the dome is built.

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