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Module 1: Coleridge Kubla Khan

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XSIQ
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English - Music and vision

Music and vision

The third section of the poem that begins with the Abyssinian maid,
carries through this reading very closely. The speaker switches abruptly
from the narrative about Kubla's world to his own personal vision. The
vision again is of artistic creation - not architecture this time, but
music:

'A DAMSEL WITH A DULCIMER
In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she played,
SINGING OF MOUNT ABORA.'(ll.37-41).

Mount Abora is a reference to John Milton's great 17thC poem, _Paradise
Lost_. The maid is celebrating a paradisal landscape, ie seemingly a
landscape very like the opening lines. Thus paradise has been represented
in architecture and music, and the poet now argues that he, too, could
create great art, a paradisal creation just like that of Kubla and the
Abyssinian maid.

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