In 1798, a poet named Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote the poem called Kubla Khan. In his preface, he stated that he had dreamt the poem, and wrote it down just as it was preserved. The speaker also stated that the poem is merely a fragment, it is not complete. With the exception of about eight or ten scattered lines and images that had been lost in the transition between sleep and being awake. In the first stanza, it seemed that the speaker was talking of a far away land, Xanadu. Kubla Khan was the leader of this land. This land had a sacred river running through it.
It had many spots of greenery around it with forests that were almost ancient. In lines one and two it says, In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure dome decree. What could that mean? It could perhaps imply that Kubla Khan is a leader of some type, and he lives in a stately palace. The speaker used the word dome instead of palace. Perhaps in his dream he saw a dome as big or a stately as a palace, and that is where Kubla Khan lived. In the second stanza, the speaker goes on to describe the land of Xanadu. He says that there is a cedar forest that is haunted by a woman wailing for her demon-lover.
A mighty fountain momently was forced Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail It flung up momently the sacred river And mid this tumult Kubla heard from far Ancestral voices prophesying war! It seems, in lines 17-31, that there could possibly be a war started. It is never said why the war was started or if there in fact is really a war, but after that sequence of lines the speaker goes into another rant. He said that there was a sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice. It is not understood what the voice is trying to get across to the reader in this line.
It is known that ice does not exist in the sun, at least not for long, so does this mean that there is not really a dome at all? After talking about the dome, the mask speaks of a damsel in the pleasure dome. The damsel was playing the dulcimer. The persona also says how the damsel could win his heart by playing the instrument. After those few off-set lines, the speaker goes on to say that he would build the dome in the sky, and that all that heard about it would see it there and yell beware, beware! To whom they would yell this is unclear. The last couple of lines seem to be talking about Kubla Khan.
His flashing eyes, his floating hair He must have been a sight to see. The voice also says that he drank the milk of paradise. That could potentially mean that he lived a life of luxury and was a very mighty leader. In research done with help of the World Wide Web, it was found that Samuel Coleridge was addicted to a drug much like todays Acid. Could that signify that Mr. Coleridge might have been on a trip when he wrote this poem, and that is why it remained unfinished and a fragment? Or quite possibly, it could be that Mr. Coleridge was just dreaming of the wonderful world of Kubla Khan.