The Big Smoke

Opium Culture


The Alchemist's Song

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Pipe Dreams
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Opium Culture is available for purchase online at Inner Traditions.

Opium Culture

In Opium Culture, Peter Lee fills this information gap with a fascinating narrative that covers every aspect in the art and craft of smoking opium. Beginning with a concise and colorful account of opium's history and how it came to be smoked for pleasure in China, Lee then delves into a detailed description of how the poppy is grown and harvested, how the raw sap is refined for smoking, how the exotic inventory of tools and paraphernalia are used to smoke opium the Chinese way, as well as the art and etiquette, the pharmacology and philosophy, and other essential aspects of this traditional Chinese custom. The text is highlighted throughout with interesting quotes by literary luminaries who smoked opium and studded with gems of long forgotten opium arcana.

The book concludes with an intriguing collection of a dozen opium-drenched poems penned by the poet Martin Matz during his six-year sojourn among the hilltribes of the Golden Triangle in northern Thailand. Inspired by the poet's Poppy Muse, Pipe Dreams and The Alchemist's Song weave a richly tapestried vision of the opium experience and sing a literary tribute to the elaborate alchemical art of pipe and lamp.

This book will command your attention from start to finish, leaving you with much to ponder--perchance to dream!


Copyright © 2006
Opium Culture