Coleridge claimed that "Kubla Khan" was the result of hallucinations he experienced during an opium-induced reverie. Upon perusing "Kubla Khan", a bizarre amalgamation of fantastic images and magic, one can easily agree that his allegation is indeed plausible, for the vivid poetry seems too fantastic to have been concocted by the conscious mind; rather, it seems to be a creation of the stimulated id. The entire work is a personification of what can result when people, with the aid of drugs like opium, leave their conscious being behind to explore the parts of their mind that usually remain inaccessible. Consequently, "Kubla Khan" has no set mood, but instead, takes on the ever-changing states of mind one may experience as if in a dream: A few words is all the transition Coleridge offers when he tears his audience from away bliss and thrusts them into the innermost depths of hell.
The poem seems starts out harmlessly enough, describing a bucolic scene in a faraway land. The reader can almost hear a the soothing voice of a story-teller ready to embark on a tale of adventure as their eyes read lines such as "So twice five miles of fertile ground" and their minds pictured a calm sea of rolling farmland. Yet, even the first stanza, by far the most tranquil section of the poem, gives the audience a hint that "Kubla Khan" is not simply the result of a westerner's vision of a mysterious but harmonious East when readers' eyes catch on phrases such as "sinuous rills" and "incense-bearing tree". .
The first section served only to transport the audience to Coleridge's whimsical realm and gave them a chance to glance about the foreign surroundings; only in the second stanza do they realize that this new place is extra-mundane. The second stanza starts with the interjection "But oh!", giving rise to a defined change in tone. Readers are startled by an exclamation point in almost every line as they roll "Down the green hill athwart a cedar cover.