More than anything else, imaginative journeys are about the process of speculation.
The imaginative journey alters the mind frame of the person who undertook the journey, giving them new understandings of themselves and the world around them. This understanding cannot be gained without the presence of speculation, as imaginations of the mind cannot exist without the action of speculation. Similarly, the imaginative journey undertaken by the persona in Coleridge's poem "This Lime Tree Bower my Prison" is created and sustained by the speculation of the persona.
In the poem, the persona was left behind by his friends from a hike. His anger at his physical restriction is shown "Well, they are gone, and here must I remain, This Lime Tree Bower my prison!" The word 'must' implies his unwillingness, while the word 'prison' evokes imagery of his physical constriction. The poet laments his inability to follow his friends on the hike and envious, begins to speculate about the journey that his friends is on, imagining that they "wander in gladness," into a "roaring dell," and traveling through the grandeur of the landscape "of hilly fields and meadows," creating imagery of a rolling countryside with beautiful views.
His experience from the imaginative journey renders the persona no longer pessimistic but enthusiastic which is emphasized through the use of exclamation marks. The persona's enlightened mood is conveyed by the change to a positive and joyful tone created by the positive word choice, e.g. 'magnificent' and 'delight', 'A delight comes sudden on my heart, and I am glad as I myself were there!'. This change of tone demonstrates the transformation of the persona's attitude towards his alienated situation as his imaginative journey had enabled him to transcend the physical prison he describes.
The process of speculation also influences the imaginative journey...