This Floral Bower My Prison

Bower 1

Hmm, may have mangled the title of that poem a bit.  I’m thinking, of course, of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison, which he wrote in — ha, for half a second I was about to write “1997” but nope, this one dropped in 1797.  I studied this poem in university under a wonderful professor who approached the poetry of the Victorian era like a lesson in modern celebrity gossip.  In particular, I loved her take on Coleridge and This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison, in which Coleridge, a Romance poet and philosopher afflicted with a debilitating hunchback, hangs back at home, morosely wandering about the titular lime tree bower, while his more able-bodied friends head out for an afternoon excursion in the country.

Physical limitations aside, Coleridge’s internal monologue is so unbelievably Eeyore-esque.  That he’s the better poet, the more reasoned, thoughtful and compassionate man than his close frenemy, the likewise talented but undeniably gorgeous and immensely popular William Wordsworth, is totally besides the point – that surely because of his unfortunate physical affliction and what just HAS to be his own searing unpopularity, he’s been once again relegated to the kids’ table while Wordsworth gallivants across the countryside like a Victorian era rock star.  It’s actually quite emo.  You really feel for the man; can’t have been easy being the socially maladjusted bestie to the guy everyone wanted to be and/or shag.

These are not lime bowers.  Boughs?  Are bowers boughs that have been arranged into the shape of a, um, bower?  I feel like we may have gone a bit snake-eating-its-own-tail here.  They’re boughs.  Of flowers.  Not bowers. 😉

Bower 2

3 thoughts on “This Floral Bower My Prison

  1. Wait first literary novels, now poetry inspiration for nail art? Love this! Well, actually I love the inspiration, the nail art itself is much less my style, lovely as it is. How did you create the impression of those teeny little leaves? This is such an intriguing premise, I shall have to find out more about this Coleridge/Wordsworth frenemy business and read this poem.

    • Giving away my trade secrets here, but those leaves are just brushed on dark green polish (using a tiny detail brush and tight little strokes) which is then topped with a shimmery, golden green polish – the way the light plays over that one, changing from green to gold, is what’s doing the heavy lifting here, makes it look like an actual technique as opposed to just what happens!

      The friendships and rivalries and commonly shared STDs of the Romance poets make for a fascinating area of study. They were some randy buggers, that’s for sure!

      • Oh no, don’t waste your secrets on me, I’ll never use them! It was more a compliment in the form of a question, but I thank you for divulging the technique, flattered that you would even think I could attempt your nail art..
        Ew, I don’t know why, but something about the notion of randy romance poets does little to make me want to read them:p

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