Essay on Poem Explication: “This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison”

1642 Words 7 Pages
Throughout life, we have all experienced the loneliness of being excluded at some point or another. In “This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison,” Samuel Taylor Coleridge shows how his experience with this resentful jealousy matured into a selfless brotherly love and the acceptance of the beneficial effects some amount of denial can have. Each of the poem’s three stanzas demonstrates a separate step in this transition, showing Coleridge’s gradual progression from envy to appreciation. The pervading theme of Nature and the fluctuating diction are used to convey these, while the colloquial tone parallels the message’s universal applications. The poem culminates to show the reader that being deprived of something in life is not always to be regretted …show more content…
He begins this poem bemoaning his situation to himself and calling the bower his “prison,” (line 2) as the he is trapped there while his friends explore the beautiful surrounding nature. Gradually, though, he begins addressing his friend, Charles. The poem advances from the afternoon to “late twilight,” (line 58) despite Coleridge’s urging “slowly sink behind the western ridge, thou glorious Sun!” (line 34.) At first, the setting of the speaker is contrasted with that of his friends, paralleling Coleridge’s initial hurt at their separation and his separation from the group. By the end of the poem, however, Coleridge describes his environment differently, seeing “that walnut-tree Was richly ting’d,” (line 53) and “the solitary humble-bee” (line 60) rather than his “prison” (line 2.) This elevated view correlates with his elevated mood, and shows the reader his recognition of the beauties that surrounded him rather than his sulking over those that “would have been” (line 3.)
Throughout the poem, the theme of Coleridge’s brotherly affection for his friend, the “gentle-hearted Charles,” serves to transition Coleridge from lamenting the absence of his friends to appreciating that they are able to enjoy the Nature he cannot, particularly Charles. When he begins to think of how Charles will find happiness from this natural setting that so contradicts the “great City” (line 31) he’d been confined to, he also begins to find happiness vicariously,…