Colridge - Lime Tree Bower - Essay

“Lime-Tree Bower, My Prison”

Imaginative journeys can be taken through the imagination or mind of an individual as they explore, reflect and fuse together the seemingly intangible with reality. Imaginative journeys may draw on previous experiences and understandings but move beyond these limited perceptions into more speculative or fantastical realms. Coleridge, through the use of poetry, explores the notion of imaginative journeys and how it demonstrates the power of the imagination.

The poem begins conversational and abrupt with immediately establishing the reality of the author's confinement by referring to his current position as a "prison”   "Well, they are gone and here I must remain this lime tree bower, my prison".

Coleridge traces his friends’ journey thought nature and describes what he thinks they are experiencing and he enlists the use of imagery to help us create the scene in our own imaginations. He describes the visual appeal of the ‘roaring dell, o’erwooded, narrow, deep and only speckled by the midday sun’ that includes the onomatoepia of ‘roaring’ which is repeated to mimic the water’s continual sound. The use of alliteration of ‘l” in “the dark green file of the long lank weeds” also contributes to capturing the peaceful atmosphere he describes.

He uses conversational language to create intimacy, relating the narrator and the responder and therefore encourage the responder to share the narrator's journey. He uses words such as ‘Well’ and ‘Now’ to organise his account and the repeated exclamations of ‘Yes!’ and ‘Ah!” contribute to his enthralled mood of describing the natural features.

This imaginative journey allows Coleridge to transcend above his physical restrictions to explore the infinite space of his imagination and 'mentally walk alongside them'. Coleridge is able to change his initial perspective from seeing the Lime Tree Bower as a symbol of confinement and is able to move on to realize that he is not limited at all.