Rowan Ricardo Phillips on his selection:
The poem “This Lime-tree Bower my Prison’” was written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in the summer of 1797. He had been set to journey the Quantocks with a group of friends but burned his foot in an accident and thus was left behind, under a lime tree in the garden of a friend’s home, while others — including William Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth, Charles Lamb (to whom the poem is addressed) — embarked on the anticipated journey without him. Coleridge’s poem nevertheless travels with them (“Beneath the wide wide Heaven”) and in doing so makes something from nothing, pleasure from pain, and love from loneliness. I love the poem’s own subtle journey from day to night unbowed by the encroaching dark. In light of recent times, Coleridge’s dream of social connection from his position of isolation feels fitting and is a beautiful example of poetry’s unique imaginative power.
This Lime-tree Bower my Prison by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Music: “Shift of Currents” by Blue Dot Sessions // CC BY-NC 2.0
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