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

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