When I think of Coleridge, I immediately think of Xanadu, of the famous interruption of the poem by the “person from Porlock,” which seems to me to stand for every mundane thing that keeps one from writing. But the Writer’s Almanac featured this short poem I’d never seen before, and think is quite wonderful.

What if you slept…

What if you slept
And what if
In your sleep
You dreamed
And what if
In your dream
You went to heaven
And there plucked a strange and beautiful flower
And what if
When you awoke
You had that flower in your hand
Ah, what then?

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Very modern, don’t you think, for something written more than 150 years ago?


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