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Many ancient cultures revered poets as seers who had a special relationship with the...

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jode | Student, Grade 11 | eNoter

Posted March 29, 2011 at 4:49 AM via web

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Many ancient cultures revered poets as seers who had a special relationship with the gods. How does the last stanza of "Kubla Khan" refer to this?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 29, 2011 at 7:39 PM (Answer #1)

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Note how in the last stanza we are presented with a figure that appears to be all-powerful and given strange abilities. The people feel the need to protect themselves from the poet using a ritual, weaving a circle around him three times. They also regard him with intense fear, because of his physical appearance:

And all should cry, Beware! Beware!

His flashing eyes, his floating hair!

Weave a circle round him thrice,

And close your eyes with holy dread,

For he on honeydew hath fed,

And drunk the milk of paradise.

Note how the description of the poet confirms the other-wordly nature of him and reinforces his role of seer or of one who is in communion with the Gods or spirits. He has "flashing eyes" and "floating hair." He evokes fear in the people because of the way tha the has feasted on "honeydew" and drunk "the milk of paradise." As such, we see the poet referred to in the last stanza is a character who evokes both fear and reverence.

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