‘kubla Ritz And ‘adultery’ By
‘kubla Ritz And ‘adultery’ By

‘kubla Ritz And ‘adultery’ By

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  • Pages: 5 (2278 words)
  • Published: October 26, 2017
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Since the beginning of human existence, there has been once practice, one instinct, one single obsession that we cannot escape. Some may call it necessary; others say it’s a gift. It can be controlling, enlightening but it’s oh so powerful. It isn’t the need for food, safety or shelter. It isn’t love nor greed nor vanity, but sex, ladies and gentlemen.With the evolution of human communication poets have been using the power of words to describe the practice of sex, and the emotions that come with it.

As a guest speaker invited to this years festival, I have explored how sex is expressed through poetry from a multitude of cultures and eras. It has become apparent that the traditions and values of a society shapes the form, right down to the style of language and words used, of poetry from its respective era. While values have and will continue to change, sex is a universal practice, and therefore a universal theme of poets the world over.To demonstrate this, I will analyze three poems: ‘Kubla Khan,’ by Samuel Coleridge, ‘Sexual Healing,’ by Marvin Gaye and David Ritz and ‘Adultery’ by Carol Ann Duffy. Although all poems have the same central theme of sex, the way they express it differs quite radically.

In Xanadu did Kubla KhanA stately pleasure-dome decree:Where Alph, the sacred river, ranThrough caverns measureless to manDown to a sunless sea.These are the opening lines of Kubla Khan, in which the era of its poet is made clear. Samuel Coleridge was from the Romantic period, an era in which freedom, simplicity and the humble life we

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re reflected through poetry. Above all else though, Romantic poetry featured a strong presence of nature, wild and untamed, the opposite to the stiff formal gardens of Victorian England.

So twice five miles of fertile groundWith walls and towers were girdled round:The influence of Romanticism is immediately apparent in the first two stanzas of Kubla Khan, alongside a feeling of the east and a touch of exoticism.And there were gardens bright with sinuous rillsWhere blossomed many an incense- bearing tree;Coleridge constantly relates to nature within Kubla Khan, making it inherent to Romantic poetry, yet this poem is not strictly about nature. At first glance it is description of Coleridge’s drug-induced version of Paradise, but a common interpretation of Kubla Khan is that it is an allegory for Coleridge’s repressed sexual desires and feelings.But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slantedDown the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!A holy place! As holy and enchantedAt this point of the poem, connections can be made between his words and sexuality, such as ‘fertile ground’ and potency, or ‘deep romantic chasm,’ a metaphor for a part of the female anatomy.

He refers to this chasm as holy and enchanted, alluding to the mystery of women. It is almost as if Coleridge himself is mystified and awed up until the point of worship for this chasm that women possess.A savage place! as holy and enchantedAs e’er beneath a waning moon was hauntedBy woman wailing for her demon-lover!Coleridge paints a vivid picture of a woman tormented by love and desire, wailing with a

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almost religious fervor. This is accentuated by use of exclamation marks. Thus, the previously mentioned romantic chasm becomes a simile for the extremity of almost religious passion displayed by the wailing woman.And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seethingAs if this earth in fast thick pants were breathingA mighty mountain momently was forced:In three swift lines, Coleridge describes the moment of climax, while making use of rhyme, personification and alliteration.

In the following lines, the fountain and its ‘rebounding hail’ becomes one with the river mentioned at the beginning. Here, you can understand why he originally thought of the river Alph as sacred. After all, the river is but a metaphor for the seed of life produced by men. If the chasm is holy, than it makes sense for the river which flows into it to be sacred, too.

Five miles meandering with a mazy motionThrough wood and dale the sacred river ran,Then reached the caverns measureless to man,In these lines, Coleridge uses alliteration and rhyme to describe the rivers journey to the ‘caverns measureless to man,’ a metaphor for the womb. Of all poetic techniques, visual imagery is the strongest, while use of other devices such as similes, metaphors and personification only serve to heighten the reader’s experience.The Romantic era allowed poets to infuse simplicity, nature and imagination together. The perhaps unintentional brilliance of Kubla Khan is how Coleridge manipulated his words in order to include elements of Romanticism yet express lustful and passionate thoughts.

The strong presence of nature as a theme allowed the evocative Kubla Khan to be accepted into the era it was written in.As time progressed, the modesty of the 18th and 19th centuries gave way to societies less afraid to read about lust, passion and sex. This transition can be seen in poems from the 20th century. In the late 1970’s an R;B singer by the name of Marvin Gaye and his biographer David Ritz co-wrote the lyrics to the famous reggae style ballad ‘Sexual Healing.’ Although hundreds of years separate Kubla Khan from Sexual Healing, the poems still talk about a common theme. The 1970’s were characterized by growing distrust in the government, increased influence of the women’s movement, and concern for the environment.

The events of these times were reflected in and became inspiration for poems and song lyrics of this era.Unlike Kubla Khan, the words of Sexual Healing have no double meaning. Ritz wrote with clarity, simplicity and as apparent in the first verse, complete honesty.I’m hot just like your ovenI need your lovin’Baby I can’t hold it much longerIt’s getting stronger and strongerA rhyming pattern of AABB emerges, while the simile ‘hot just like your oven’ describes the narrator’s arousal.The next stanza starts, ‘Whenever these blue teardrops are falling / And my emotional stability is leaving me.

‘ Blue is generally a color associated with melancholy, and thus perfectly describes a state of emotional sadness. ‘Darling I know you’ll be there to relieve me / the love you give to me will free me.’ Here, sex is seen as calming, sensual, and as a healing process. A major feature of Sexual Healing

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