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HomePoems > Kubla Khan > Sources > John Milton                           



1. The green border of Paradise

2. The fragrance of Paradise

3. A steep, savage hill

4. A Heaven on earth

5. Imitations of Paradise

6. Mount Amara in Abyssinia


John Milton

Like Milton, Coleridge revels in intense moral conflict played out in vast panoramas.

The poets share a willingness--no, an eagerness--to soar through space with angels and devils, and an intense interest in the theme of Paradise.

Lowes only points to a few passages in Milton as possible sources of Coleridge's imagery, but Lowes overlooks many Miltonic images that resemble those in Kubla Khan.

Perhaps Lowes was so intent on proving that Coleridge was influenced by the travel writers that he skimmed past Milton's description of Paradise, the visit by Satan, the Tree of Life, and the Garden of Eden (from which, tradition tells us, the Nile and other sacred rivers flow).

Lowes argues that "Milton, like Coleridge, was a diligent reader of Purchas, as his Commonplace Book attests."

Lowes' focus on the travel writers seems, at times, like a set of blinders, preventing him from recognizing other influences.

Coleridge did write of Milton that "In the description of Paradise itself...his descriptive powers are exercised to the utmost." (Letters and Notes 525).

Here we quote from Paradise Lost, Book IV, the 1667 edition.

Other sources

William Bartram
William Beckford
F. Bernier
James Bruce
Thomas Burnet
William Collins
Athanasius Kircher
Jerome Lobo
Thomas Maurice
Samuel Purchas
Major James Rennell

Mary Wollstonecraft



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