There was the poet and philosopher Samuel Taylor Coleridge, napping in his cottage in Nether Stowey, Somerset in the autumn of 1797. He had given up his dreams of a utopian community on the banks of a wild river in Pennsylvania, and decided to devote himself instead to poetry, family life, and a little opium on the side.

Perhaps the opium had induced the dream in which he now found himself. Perhaps not. Either way, as he slept he dreamed – not just the idea for a poem, but the complete text of the verses we know as Kubla Khan. Struggling up to get pen and paper, Coleridge began to write it down:

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