On Depriving Oneself of Sleep

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On Depriving Oneself of Sleep

Copyright 2004 by Mad Teddy


"I've got some gunk stuck in my throat.
It makes me feel quite yucky;
So if you haven't, please take note -
You're really very lucky."

That's what my colleague said to me
One misty Monday morn.
Because I felt no sympathy,
I thus replied, with scorn:

"When you wake up and feel quite lame
Because you went to bed late,
You've only got yourself to blame -
You've been a silly twit, mate.

Now you and I both know, my lad,
That you are no spring chicken;
And if you go on being bad,
You won't stay fit - you'll sicken.

So if the candle thou dost burn
From both ends to the centre,
It really isn't my concern -
You are your own tormentor!"

Don't ask me where this came from - I've no idea. I did have a nasty dose of 'flu toward the end of 2004, which may have provided the inspiration for the first verse - but I'm not sure. (Actually, going back through my hard disc, it appears that I wrote the original version of this poem in September 2003 - which pretty much knocks that theory on the head.) Either way, the rest of the poem certainly has no basis in fact! When the muse leads, the poet must simply churn out the goods.

Well, that may not be quite the whole story. Originally, the poem consisted only of verses 1, 3, and 5 (the yellow ones), and without any quotation marks; however, if you read it like that, you'll see that it doesn't quite make sense. It therefore fell upon me to produce verses 2 and 4 (the turquoise ones) to give it some balance. Did the muse take part in that? Perhaps - but who can be sure?

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