Saturday, 23 September 2006


Oh, how the poets have sung of sleep! Shakespeare, for example, wrote of:
“Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleave of care
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath

Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,

Chief nourisher in life's feast…”
And Ovid observed:
“Sleep, rest of things, O pleasing Deity,
Peace of the soul, which cares dost crucify,

Weary bodies refresh and mollify...”
While D H Lawrence expressed the opinion:
“And if tonight my soul may find her peace
in sleep, and sink in good oblivion,
and in the morning wake like a new-opened flower
hen I have been dipped again in God, and new-created…”
Yes! Well, some - indeed, many - may sleep the sleep of the innocent babe…

Others of us, however (note, please, the time of this posting!), join the ranks of the insomniacs and have the nightly thrill of watching others sleep whilst taking precious little comfort from knowing just how many famous men and women have shared the nightly vigil as the small hours crawl, with snail-like slowness, towards a weary dawn…
"Insomnia is a gross feeder. It will nourish itself on any kind of thinking, including thinking about not thinking..."
- Clifton Fadiman

"It appears that every man's insomnia is as different from his neighbour's as are their daytime hopes and aspirations..."
- F. Scott Fitzgerald

"How do people go to sleep? I'm afraid I've lost the knack. I might try busting myself smartly over the temple with the night-light. I might repeat to myself, slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound; if I can remember any of the damn things..."
- Dorothy Parker

"Sleeplessness is a desert without vegetation or inhabitants..."
- Jessamyn West

"There are twelve hours in the day, and above fifty in the night..."
- Marie de Rabutin-Chantal

"Even thus last night, and two nights more I lay,

And could not win thee, Sleep, by any stealth:

So do not let me wear to-night away.

Without thee what is all the morning's wealth?

Come, blessed barrier between day and day,

Dear mother of fresh thoughts and joyous health!

- William Wordsworth

"Nothing cures insomnia like the realization that it's time to get up..."
- Author Unknown
And, oh, how easy it will be to fall asleep while sitting at the keyboard come ten o'clock in the morning!


Cafrine said...

Holy crap! Still awake at 4.00am? Brian, that sucks. I will never whine again about not being able to sleep past 7.30am.

Scrooge said...

My problems are the reverse of yours and come during the 'graveyard shift' between 2-3pm in the afternoon. If you can survive that, you have a job for another day.

Ian said...

Sleeping problems are a nightmare if you suffer from them. Sorry to hear the holiday hasn't improved things on that front for you. I've been up since 4.30am myself despite wanting desperately to get a good 8 hours before heading in for the office this morning. Ho hum! I envy those who just seem to sleep 8 hours a night with no problems (as I'm sure you do too).

lee said...

No Brian, its based on Moses Saphire, a jewish Hungarian cartoonist and satirist from the 18th hundreds. Going by his face i'd say he was right ould laugh though.