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Vocabulary in Kubla Khan

Vocabulary Examples in Kubla Khan:

Kubla Khan

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"Abyssinian maid..."   (Kubla Khan)

The “Abyssinian maid” is generally interpreted as a representation of the poetic muse, and not a reference to a specific figure. The “dulcimer she played” is a variety of stringed instrument. Considering the Abyssinian woman’s role as poetic muse, the dulcimer may serve as an allusion to the lyre, a stringed instrument strongly associated with the poetic traditions of ancient Greece.

"sinuous rills..."   (Kubla Khan)

The phrase “sinuous rills” means “winding streams.” The word “sinuous” comes from the Latin “sinus,” meaning “curve,” which comes from the same root as the mathematical term “sine wave.”

"momently..."   (Kubla Khan)

The adjective "momently" suggests that the fountain was not immediately forced up—but almost immediately. The next lines explain that "fragments" of rocks erupted along the river, beyond the "fountain," which is the river's source.

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