• What is the significance of the narrator saying that he would ‘build that dome in air`?
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    Marianne Moore famously stated that poetry was composed of 'imaginary gardens with real toads in them`. Like Moore`s imaginary garden or Tennyson`s Palace of Art, the pleasure dome of Kubla Khan is not presented as a real place but as an ideal symbol of artistic creation.

    The key phrase which signals that the dome is noty a real but an imaginary construct is:

    Could I revive within me
    Her symphony and song,
    To such a deep delight 'twould win me,
    That with music loud and long,
    I would build that dome in air,

    You cannot actually build a dome with music, but only with concrete building materiasl. Thus the sense is that music (or Coleridge`s poem) conjures up in the listener`s mind the image of a dome of pleasure, which itself is merely a symbol of a certain type of ecstatic or Dionysian vision of art and its associated emotions.

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