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Ruskin Bond Poem: Lines Written on a Sleepless Night

Lines Written on a Sleepless Night is a very funny poem by Ruskin Bond. He wrote this poem when he was about to turn seventy. On the night before his 70th birthday, he just couldn’t sleep. Why? The urge to write something was disturbing him. So he got up and penned down this humourus poem and went to sleep.

The poem is bit satirical in nature. Ruskin discusses the things that he can’t do and the things that he can do easily. Read the poem given below and you will see that he was foolish with worldly or tech-related things but hopeful with creativity. The poem is simple and in rhythm, like Ruskin Bond books and short stories, his poems are, too, full of simplicity and mirth.


I’m unfamiliar with statistics,
I wouldn’t know what to do
With a book on Mathematics
Or a girl of ninety-two.

I really can’t tell the difference
Between a man from Kalamazoo
And the kind of endangered species
That you only find in a zoo.

I’m hopeless at Nuclear Physics-
Don’t ask me to make you a bomb-
But if you would like me to bake you a cake,
I’ll do it with great aplomb.

I’m not very good at book-keeping,
My accounting, they say, is too lax.
I can’t trace my Income, or, credit my debit,
So how can I pay Income Tax?

I’m really not bad at prognosis,
Consult me- I won’t take a fee
I’ll soon let you know if your calcium is low
Or if it’s just Housemaid’s Knee.

I’m not very good with a Nurse
And I feel more at ease writing verse-
I am inclined to convulse when she feels for my pulse,
And if I feel hers, she gets terse!

I’m hopeless at counting those sheep-
I’d rather be off with Bo-peep!
If she’d leave them alone
And take me straight home
I wouldn’t mind losing more sleep.

By Ruskin Bond

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