Contrast and Comparison of Wordsworth's Tintern Abbey and Colderidges' Kubla Khan

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Contrast and Comparison of Wordsworth's Tintern Abbey

and Colderidges' Kubla Khan

When comparing William Wordsworth's Tintern Abbey, and Samuel Colderidge's "Kubla Khan", one notices a distinct difference in the use of imagination within the two poems. Even though the two poets were contemporaries and friends, Wordsworth and Colderidge each have an original and different way in which they introduce images and ideas into their poetry. These differences give the reader quite a unique experience when reading the works of these two authors. Through the imagination of the poet, the reader can also gain insight into the mind and personality of the poet himself. These ideas will be explored through analysis and comparison of the two poems, with the intent to better understand the imagination of each poet, and therefore, to possibly better understand the poet himself.

In Tintern Abbey, Wordsworth begins with a lengthy description of the Wye river and the woods surrounding its banks.

He paints a wonderful picture of the area in general within the following lines:

The wild green landscape. Once again I see

These hedge-rows, hardly hedge-rows, little lines

Of supportive wood run wild; these pastoral farms

Green to the very door; and wreathes of smoke

Sent up, in silence, from among the trees (15-19)

Wordsworth takes these colorful physical descriptions and begins to associate these images with the spirit of man and all that is good and pure. This idea is reached in the climax of the poem where he goes on to describe nature as being:

The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse

The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul

Of all my moral being. (110-112)

The effect is one where Wordsworth takes a humble and beautiful setting and expands the ideas until the same images become cosmic and sublime, relating...