Symbols in Kubla Khan
Symbols Examples in Kubla Khan:
"gardens..." See in text (Kubla Khan)
In Western mythology, the garden is the classic symbol for paradise and perfection. The “gardens” here suggest the idealized fruit of creativity, or, symbolically, the poem in its perfect, unattainable state.
"a sunless sea..." See in text (Kubla Khan)
The metaphorical material of the river continues here. Light and water are the two ancient metaphors for human thought. Water in the form of the sea is our fundamental metaphor for the unconscious mind—the soul, if you will—in all its depths. Light is our fundamental metaphor for conscious knowledge: hence, the “Age of Enlightenment.” Coleridge’s “sunless sea” is a perfect amalgam of the two, a representation of the inscrutable unconscious depths within each person.
"on honey-dew hath fed..." See in text (Kubla Khan)
This may be an allusion to the symbolism of the honey-dew melon, which was considered an ambrosial food of Greek and Roman gods. That the speaker has eaten honey-dew suggests a moment of divinely inspired creation.