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“The Power of the Poppy is truly a magnificent book. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the history of psychoactives, the drug war, or a personal relationship with powerful plant allies.”
“The Power of the Poppy offers a frank and precise analysis of the mystical, chemical, and social aspects of a plant that has fascinated humans for millennia. Readers will gain the data they need to make informed decisions.”
“An eminently readable book, this examination of the poppy's contribution to humankind, for both good and ill, belongs on every shelf. Written in a beguiling, conversational tone that kept this reader reading late into the night. . . An open-eyed, unbiased and realistic examination of the history of the poppy and its products, this book will appear to a broad range of readers. They will not be disappointed.”
“Kenaz Filan’s well-researched compilation of Poppy’s history, uses, constituents, derivatives, and personal accounts will more than inform you about this powerful plant—it will invite you to deeply consider the price one pays for such a potent ally.”
“Like cannabis, the poppy is an ancient medicinal plant, both revered and maligned. Kenaz Filan performs a crucial service in educating us about its history, both agricultural and cultural, and examining its potential for healing and harm. Most importantly, the author offers hope and heart to those struggling with addiction.”
Excerpted from The Power of the Poppy by Kenaz Filan Copyright © 2011 by Kenaz Filan. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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1 In the Beginning
2 The Bronze Age World
4 The Islamic World
5 The Return to Europe
6 The Colonial Era: 1500-1900
7 The War on Drugs
15 Samuel Taylor Coleridge
16 Thomas de Quincey
17 Elizabeth Barrett Browning
18 Eugene O’Neill
19 Nelson Algren
20 Charlie Parker
21 William S. Burroughs
22 Lou Reed
23 Gia Carangi
24 Layne Staley
25 Robert Earl “DJ Screw” Davis
Techniques and Conundrums
27 Poppy Tea
28 Pills, Tablets, and Capsules
30 Insuff lation
32 Dependence, Addiction, and Tolerance
33 Getting Clean and Staying Clean
Posted December 16, 2012
This book is a detailed history of all the derivatives of the innocent poppy plant, from the medicinal to the recreational. Filan takes a harm-reduction approach; zie never once judges the reader for their interest or use of these substances, but objectively helps the reader weigh the pros and cons of each on their own.
As someone in pain management therapy, I feel like I understand the meds I'm on better than my doctors do!
I did make a full experience when reading about the various "acolytes", by partaking of the art of the person in the chapter. From watching " The Man With The Golden Arm" to the strains of the various musicians (by finding videos on You Tube). I highly suggest this way of intimately immerse yourself in the life of someone under the influence of "Mistress Poppy".
Which leads me to my only criticism: I expected.the openly-pagan author (who has written such other books as "Drawing Down The Spirits") to more openly explore the animism hinted at on the cover. Instead, zie only makes personifications on "Mistress Poppy", instead of actually sharing ways of working with the spirits that inhabit various opiates. I understand that such undertakings might be seen as potentially dangerous, as addicition and physical dependecy are very real problems that can't be "magicked away". But as someone who is dancing with Her on a daily basis in order to treat my severe chronic pain, I would love some ideas to create a diplomacy with the spirit within.
Otherwise, this is a fascinating and engaging read that I highly recommend!
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Posted January 12, 2012
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