How does Kubla Khan move from being a simple recreation of a vision into an affirmation of the power of imaginative poetry?Explain how the poem does this.

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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Alhough Samuel Taylor Coleridge's notes about the composition of "Kubla Khan" present it as a simple description of a vision, manuscript scholarship suggests that whatever the inspiration for the poem, Coleridge spent significant time polishing and revising it, and that the work has more significance that simply being a description of an opium dream. The "dome of pleasure", like the Tennysonian "Palace of Art" acts as a metaphor for poetry, or the arts, and Kubla Khan's decree that the palace be built replicates the act of poetic creation. The final section, ("Could I revive within me … ") suggests that it is by recollection and recreation of visionary intensity that the poet creates verbal works just as awe-inspiring as the visions that inspires them; the poem is itself as wonderful an object as the pleasure dome.

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