The poem Kubla Khan was composed by Samuel Taylor Coleridge after his opium-influenced dream. He studied a work depicting a summer castle of Mongol swayer and a kingdom of Chinese Kubla Khan. The poem has a different style and form from other poems written by the same author. Even though, the poem is not finished, it has highly stylized language with a strong stress on sound devices altering the poem's pilot two stanzas. The poem describes Khan's delight-covered stadium, built alongside a sacred river fed by a powerful natural spring (Aran). It also narrates the answer to the power and consequences of the Abyssinian maid's song, which interrupted the composer, but left him unable to act on her inhalation, unless he could hear her voice once again. They formed a comparison of originative ability that did not work with nature. The poem is divided into six stanzas of unequal lines.

The poem Ode on a Grecian Urn is composed by John Keats, who prompted to write the poem after studying two articles one by English artist and the other by Benjamin Haydon. He was mindful of another person’s works on classical art and had original vulnerability to Elgin Marbles, which backed his opinion that authoritative Greek art was elevated and caught Greek virtues that forms the basis of his poem (Coleridge). Divided into five stanzas the poem contains a writer’s discussion on a series of patterns about a Grecian urn. The poem stresses two scenes: the first in which a lover eternally follows a beloved with no satisfaction, and the second one is about villagers carrying out a sacrifice. This paper focuses on comparative analysis of writer’s structure, style, and themes of two poems.


On the one hand, Ode on a Grecian Urn has ten-line stanzas and rhyme scheme starting with ABAB and ending with CDECED. This makes the poems unique in their structure. Each cinque stanza in “Grecian Urn” is ten lines long, metered in a comparatively precise verse, and divided into a two-part rhyme scheme, the final three lines of which vary (Coleridge). The beginning seven lines of each stanza comply with ABABCDE rhyme schema, but the second occurrence of CDE sounds fails to follow the same order. In the first stanza, from the seventh line to the tenth one rhymes are DCE; the second stanza rhymes are CED; the third and fourth stanzas are CDE; and the fifth stanza is DCE, just as the first stanza. The first part made of AB rhymes and the second one of CDE rhymes develops a sense of a two-part structure. The first four lines of each stanza define the subject of the stanza, and the last six develop it (Wood). Some stanzas, such as the fifth one, fail to connect the rhyme scheme and the thematic structure at all.

On the other hand, Kubla Khan has six stanzas with unequal number of lines. The chant or musical incantations of Kubla Khan come from Coleridge’s masterly use of iambic verse line and interchanging rhyme schemes (Aran). The first stanza written in verse line rhymes scheme of ABAABCCDEDE interchanges between distributed rhymes and pairs. The second stanza expands into verse line and keeps the same rhyming pattern, expanded to ABAABCCDDFFGGHIIHJJ. The third stanza holds verse line rhymes ABABCC. The fourth stanza follows the verse line of the third one and rhymes ABCCBDEDEFGFFFGHHG (Wood).


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On the one hand, the poem Kubla Khan composes 54 lines and the second stanza refers to a dream in the past tense. The poem has different rhythms, themes and images in comparison with other poem written by the same author. The poem banks on many sound based techniques, including cognate word versions and the inversion of two parallel phrases. The poem stresses the use of the [æ] sound and the same changes to the criterion of [%u02C4] sound to draw the poem sound Asian. It has rhyme scheme found on the first seven lines of the first stanza interchanged with the first seven lines of the following stanza. The author of the poem  uses assonance, the reuse of vowel sounds and reliance on alliteration, interchanging of the first sound of a word. For example, “In Xanadu did Kubla Khan” (Dea). Stressed sounds in Xan, du, Ku, Khan, incorporate assonance in their use of a-u-u-a, have rhyming syllables as "Xan" and "Khan", and employ interchanging with the name Kubla Khan and the recycle of "d" sounds in "Xanadu" and "did". To put lines together, the [i] sound of "In" is repeated in "did". Subsequent lines do not comprise the same amount of symmetry, but they use assonance and rhymes. The beginning lines of the poem follow the verse line with the initial stanza depending on total stresses. The line of the second stanza is less stressed to step up the speed of the meter breaking them from rhythm of the previous lines (Aran). Kubla Khan relates to the genre of the fragmentary poetry, with inner images solidifying the idea of fragmentation, seen within the poem form.

On the other hand, Ode on a Grecian Urn has 50 lines. It progressively mediates upon a single object. The poem employs highly lyrical tone, stanza forms and rhyme schemes, which change from one stanza to the other (Aran). The poem does not rely on many sound-based techniques, including cognate word versions and the inversion of two parallel phrases. The poem also does not have any repeated line as compared to Kubla Khan.


Keats's “Ode” discusses art and artistic audience and this forms the main theme of “Ode on a Grecian Urn”. In the poem, images depict common activities, such as an attempt to courtship and make music. The description of the urn in the poem depicts a human observer that draws out images. The urn serves as a component to explaining the relationships between humanity and art. It forms a part of reflection of art by a poet, which serves speculation upon art itself. Keats dwells more on the beauty and imitative features of art. The start of the poem fixes that the role of art is to depict a story about something unfamiliar to the audience (Dea). The poem describes a piper and lovers and intercedes on the possibility that the role of art does not describe particulars, but general characters. Keats reflects where the boundaries of art lie and how an artist can depict an urn.

On the other hand, Coleridge discusses imagination and it forms the main theme of “Kubla Khan”. The poem lionizes creativity and how the poet is able to experience a connection to the world through inspiration. Coleridge places himself in an unsure state as a master or a slave over his creative powers. The Closed City depicts the imagination as the second stanza depicts the relationships between a poet and other people in the society. After displaying  the power to create and witnessing the vision of truth, Coleridge breaks from the rest of people. By the use of imagination, the poem discusses the issues surrounding Caesar, war, and distinguishes them from those that exist within the Promised Land (Coleridge). The poet shows this by discussing the world of imagination through poetry and the world of understanding where men live.


In conclusion, Keats's poem underwent enough transformation. It represents a manner rather than a set of ways for writing certain poetry as compared to Coleridge’s poem. Two poems have more differences than similarities. 

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