A comparative study of poetry by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Frost, Ted Hughes, and a song by John Lennon

Essay by sorafloraHigh School, 12th gradeA-, April 2007

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An imaginative journey can be defined as an expedition to an unreal place, or the dreaming of potential possibilities that reflect one's own experiences, leading to spiritual enlightenment. A journey becomes a process, based on perception, or the acknowledgment of fate or destiny, all ideas that present a path of rediscovery, where we can learn more about our world and ourselves. Samuel Taylor Coleridge defines freedom of the imagination in his reflective poems, 'This Lime Tree Bower My Prison', and 'Frost At Midnight'. These notions about journeys are also evident in Robert Frost's 'The Road Not Taken', Ted Hughes' 'The Jaguar', and lastly John Lennon's 'Imagine'.

Inviting the responder, and demonstrating his own Romantic ideals about nature and the importance of freedom of the imagination, Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem 'This Lime Tree Bower My Prison' presents an introspective journey of spiritual enlightenment. Coleridge draws on his subconscious, moving from exasperated disapointment, the tone created in the opening melodramatic exclamation, to a greater appreciation and understanding of life.

Describing his garden bower incongruently as a prison in the title and first line, emphasises the poet's harsh feelings, and calls attention to the magnitude and worth of the imaginative journey as a medium for understanding the inner crevasses of self.

The intrinsic value of the imaginative journey is highlighted through Coleridge's complete attitude transformation, marked in the third stanza: "A delight comes sudden on my heart, and I am glad/ As if I myself were there!" This exclamation, and the immediacy of Coleridge's style, reiterates the idea that journeys are a process of understanding an experience, and the poet's bower now becomes a paradise- a symbol of his juxtaposed feelings and new recognition of nature through his journeying vicariously with his "dear friend Charles". His emotions have...