Any journey includes both realities and possibilities
The imagination stands in some essential relation to truth and reality. An imaginative journey employing possibilities will see things to which the intelligence is blind and therefore reveal realities. Through my study of Coleridge’s This Lime Tree Bower my Prison, Kubla Khan, Frost at Midnight and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner as well as Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows, Margaret Atwood’s Journey to the interior, E. Harburg’s Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Susan Hickman’s Sacred Journey and Jules Verne’s A Journey to The Center of the Earth I have come to understand this. The boundlessness of the imagination and thus it’s journeys is reflected by the infinite possibilities realized when one steps out of concrete reality.
Imaginative journeys explore possibilities that one can contrast with their reality. In Coleridge’s This Lime Tree bower my Prison the protagonist escapes from his reality imagining others possible experiences. He is unable to accompany his friends “Well, they are gone, and here must I remain, This lime-tree bower, my prison!”. The disparate image of nature being ones prison conveys the punishment the separation from his friends is having upon him, creating a bitter tone from the onset of the poem. He starts to dream of what they may be up to “Wander in Gladness, and wind down, perchance, to that roaring dell” the speculative language “perchance” establishes that what he is saying is only a possibility. His imagination allows him an extensive journey into his friends experiences “the slip of smooth clear blue betwixt two isles” this visual image is evocative of a beautiful place. He believes his friend “My gentle hearted Charles” would benefit most from this experience as he has “pined and hungered after nature, many a year, in the great city pent” The change to direct address draws sympathy from the responder as they imagine Charles experiencing this wonderful sight after living in such a terrible unbeautiful place. The strong emotive verbs “pined” make this longing extreme and thus feeling of sympathy for Charles more intense. He hopes that Charles will have the full experience of nature where god is revealed “gaze till doth seem Less gross than bodily and of such hues as veil the almighty spirit, when yet he makes spirits perceive his presence” The religious references show this desire and illustrate the possibilities of engaging with nature. The realization that this could happen reminds the protagonist of how nature has done the same for him in the past “have I not marked much that has soothed me” this statement communicating nature’s positive effects. This coupled with the shift to affectionate address of his situation “this little lime tree bower” shows the effect of comparing possibilities with realities. He appreciates his own present as elements of its beauty “deep radiance lay full on the ancient ivy” are realized. The visual imagery engaging with light creates a macrocosm of nature. Therefore the responder realizes that the persona under the tree is content as he is able to equate it to an experience in nature.
The imaginative journey can take the speaker and responder on a journey into the past, present and future. Frost at Midnight by Coleridge follows the natural progression of the speakers mind allowing many elements of his life to be drawn together. This systolic movement of the poem seizes the responder’s attention as they understand the wonderous effects that nature can possibly bring. Whilst sitting up late one night with his “cradled infant” the “fluttering film on the fire grate” triggers the imaginative journey. This symbol of a friend’s arrival brings back memories of when he was at school and thus we are drawn out of reality into his childhood. Then he “gazed upon the bars” and could only dream of his “sweet birth place”. The connotation of prison brings about feelings that he was trapped at...
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