Citation: William Benzon. Metaphoric and Metonymic Invariance: Two Examples from Coleridge. MLN 96: 1097 - 1105, 1981. DOI: 10.2307/2906237
Abstract: “Kubla Khan and “This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison” are two very different poems by the same poet. But they share the same two-part structure, and they share imagery as well. The roaring dell of “Lime-Tree” corresponds to the savage chasm of “Kubla Khan.” The concern with sight and sound manifest in “Kubla Khan” shows up in “Lime-Tree Bower” in the image of the creeking rook flying across the sun. And the way in which both Charles and the poet have access to that sight gives it a role similar to the sunny dome and caves of ice in “Kubla Khan,” where both the poet and his audience are linked through the image. These two poems share the same world. But they take radically different paths through it. One path is regulated by metonymy and unfolds though two consciousness moving through different parts of the same landscape. The other path is regulated by metaphor and so unfolds in two different worlds linked by a common image; the path it takes through these worlds is, however, the same.
I. Forms of Invariance – 1097
II. Metonymic Invariance – 1099
III. Metaphoric Invariance – 1001
IV. Toward Poetic Grammar – 1103
NOTES – 1105