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Literature / The Author's Ordeal

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First published in Science Fiction Quarterly (May 1957 issue) by Isaac Asimov, this Poem is a humorous take on his writing habits.

Presented in AABB rhyming structure, the poem is also a Homage to Sir William Schwenck Gilbert's poetic style. It borrows heavily from "When You're Lying Awake" (also known as "the (Lord Chancellor's) Nightmare Song"), written for Iolanthe. In this work, Dr Asimov declaims about troubles and mistakes that stem from writers being distracted by their incessant need to write. However, bright sides; despite the mess you've left behind, the story has wholly left your mind, and on paper now resides.

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This poem has been reprinted three times; Earth is Room Enough (1957), The Far Ends Of Time And Earth (1979), and The Complete Stories Volume 1 (1990).


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