May God curse the night
That’s grown uneasy near the dawn

Sometimes Americans wear me out. They’re so industrious. ‘He is sleeping,’ they say, and the active gerund conjures a man striding through dark corridors swinging a briefcase, pausing for a vigorous eyelid workout every few hours. The subject is firmly in charge.

In Ireland, we say ‘He is asleep’. It’s a gentle, swooning state, not an action. You may wander the halls of that kind of sleep, but you are not the CEO of the enterprise.

I couldn’t sleep last night; can you tell?

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