Friday, April 6, 2007


Nepenthe is a drug of forgetfulness mentioned in Greek mythology, depicted as originating in Egypt. The word "Nepenthe" first appears in the fourth book of the Odyssey of Homer. Literally, it means "the one that chases away sorrow". In the Odyssey, "Nepenthes pharmakon" is a magical potion given to Helen by an Egyptian queen. It quells all sorrows with forgetfulness.

Many scholars think that nepenthe might have been an opium preparation, perhaps similar to laudanum. Alternatively, some believe it could have been an Egyptian wormwood elixir.

However, the descriptions in literature of the effects of nepenthe are similar to how the effects of opiates are described. The carnivorous plant genus Nepenthes is named after the drug nepenthe.

* In The Raven, a poem by Edgar Allan Poe there is a reference to "quaffing nepenthe" in order to forget a lost love: "Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!".

* H. P. Lovecraft referenced nepenthe in one of the famous final lines from his story "The Outsider": "For although nepenthe has calmed me, I know always that I am an outsider..."

* In Alan Moore's graphic novel Watchmen, Sally Jupiter (the Silk Spectre) lives in a retirement home named Nepenthe Gardens, an allusion to the painful romantic relationships of her past.

* In Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode 901 'The Projected Man,' nepenthe is used (somewhat satirically) to describe a plea from ghosts: Observer: "I'm sensing the presence of several disembodied souls... wandering the dark halls in search of surcease, an end to their endless night... a howl of quiet desperation... towards an indifferent universe. Nepenthe! Nepenthe!"

Have I been away from my husband too long or does this plant really look all veiny and phallic? Very interesting history and it references some decent literature. And this time the drug preceeds the plant.




The Simpsons' Treehouse of Horror VIII


It wasn't long after 9/11, September 11, 2001, that I began this website. I felt compelled to connect with other people around the globe. I had recently heard about "weblogs" or "blogs" and I dove right into I searched for others to connect with online and I found Ageless. It led to meeting many great friends to discuss events of the day. From then on it snowballed. Most importantly we offered one another support and friendship across the globe; finding that we were just a few keystrokes away.


    Blue Ridge Mtns-click for larger view

  © Free Blogger Templates Columnus by 2008

Back to TOP