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O is for Opium.....

A favorite of Romantic-Era poets, opium is the dried latex of the opium poppy fruit. The poppy fruit is scored, allowing the milky latex to ooze out. Once it dries, the darkened substance collected is raw opium. The latex contains codeine and up to 12 % morphine, which is frequently processed to produce heroin.

For the collection of Romantic poets, there was a belief that opium heightened the senses, allowing the poets to recreate vivid scenes and images that presented themselves while the poet relaxed in a dream-like stupor. Coleridge's Kubla Khan was said to have been written after one such experience.

Novelists and other literary figures of the time, paint opium in a far less favorable light. Edgar Allan Poe thrusts his narrator in the short story, Ligeia, into such a distraught stupor that he can no longer distinguish fantasy from reality. Other nineteenth century writers feature the drug and its use in connection with crime and lower class foreign immigrants

Opium Specter

A wisp, a whiff, a vivid dream,
a ghost, a haunt, a lurid scheme,
a spook, a wraith, a macabre dance,
a fiend, a shade, a squandered chance.

                                                                                         --- e.a.s. demers


  1. thanks for the pictures! I've never really seen what opium looks like:)
    Happy A-Zing!

    1. You're very welcome! Have fun on the challenge! :-)


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