Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Kubla Khan

  • Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s bondage of opium

    JMS PearceHull, England, United Kingdom His grace, his God-knows-what: for Cupid’s cupWith the first draught intoxicates apace,A quintessential laudanum or ‘black drop,’This makes one drunk at once, … — Byron’s Don Juan (1823) The opium or breadseed poppy (Papaver somniferum) was native to Turkey and was known to ancient Assyrian herbalists. Theophrastus described it in the…

  • Under the lime tree: Medicine, poetry, and the education of the senses

    Alan BleakleySennen, West Cornwall, United Kingdom When in the summer of 1797 Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s wife Sara accidentally spilled hot milk over his foot, causing serious burns such that Coleridge could not walk, he sat in the garden of his friend Thomas Poole’s house under a lime tree, immobilized. A party of friends, meanwhile, had…