"Kubla Khan" is a sensory-rich poem written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. In first stanza, the poem appeals to both sight and feeling by describing a "sunless sea." The reader knows it is not only dark, but also likely cold. "Incense-bearing tree" appeals to the sense of smell. This particularly brings the reader into the scene, because the sense of smell is so poignant.
The reader's hearing is employed when a woman wails "for her demon-lover." This moment expresses the savageness of the setting through sound. In the final stanza, hearing is engaged again with the song of a damsel. These two sounds oppose each other. The wail shows pain and turmoil, while the song is meant to be beautiful and offer joy.
The expansive use of sensory detail that Coleridge uses provides a clear picture of the opposing parts that beauty, intensity, and dreadfulness play in the vision that Coleridge is writing about.