The poem “Kubla Khan”, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, is full of various auditory devices like assonance and alliteration, as can be seen in the beginning five lines:”In Xanadu did Kubla KhanA stately pleasure-dome decree:Where Alph, the sacred river, ranThrough caverns measureless to man Down to a sunless sea.”The fact that in some parts, the poem sounded sorrowful and also lively at times.
Intentionally, the woeful and vivacious parts were to encourage listeners of the poem “Kubla Khan” to be astounded of Coleridge because of repeating the vowels a, e, and u sounds is constant during the whole poem with the a sounds becoming more dominant. Afterwards, the assonance in the line “As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing” makes the reader inevitably breath. In the poem, the alliteration is exceptionally prevalent in the opening lines: “Kubla Khan,” “pleasure-dome decree,” “river, ran,” “measureless to man,” and “sunless sea.” Notably, the juxtaposition of “waning” and “woman wailing” are other ways of using alliteration to create an image of gloominess and sound of sadness. Incidentally, “Five miles meandering with a mazy motion” literally sounded like the movement it described. The repetition of the initial h and d sounds in the closing lines creates an image of the narrator as haunted and doomed:”His flashing eyes, his floating hair!Weave a circle round him thrice,And close your eyes with holy dread,For he on honey-dew hath fed,And drunk the milk of Paradise.
“Ergo, to restore the impression of the flowing river with assonance and alliteration, the impact of the last rhythm of “Kubla Khan” and from the organized sensation of movement,with the shadow of the pleasure dome floating upon it. Moreover, such impressions incite a vivacious mental impression of Xanadu resolved only through the reader’s imagination. Particularly, without being so specific, the envisioning of “Kubla Khan” tends to evoke that it contradicts the magical, dreamlike effect for which Coleridge is endeavouring. The “gardens bright with sinuous rills,” “incense-bearing tree,” “forests ancient as the hills,” and “sunny spots of greenery” are intentionally vague, as if remembered from a dream.
As to mention that Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote this work of literature because he was deprived of opium. He took opium for medicinal purposes.