Monologue At 3 AM, by Sylvia Plath

Better that every fiber crack
and fury make head,
blood drenching vivid
couch, carpet, floor
and the snake-figured almanac
vouching you are
a million green counties from here,

than to sit mute, twitching so
under prickling stars,
with stare, with curse
blackening the time
goodbyes were said, trains let go,
and I, great magnanimous fool, thus wrenched from
my one kingdom.

At 3 a.m, by Wendy Cope

At 3 a.m.

the room contains no sound
except the ticking of the clock
which has begun to panic
like an insect, trapped
in an enormous box.

Books lie open on the carpet.

Somewhere else
you’re sleeping
and beside you there’s a woman
who is crying quietly
so you won’t wake.

Sleepless night, by Rachel Piercey

Three a.m., in bed,
and though the lamp’s neck
is twisted back

the light’s still harsh,
stripping my fictions
of red lips and composure

right back to character
as first conceived:
a few adjectives

before they’re fleshed out,
sketching me
in a single moment —

words that will never
see the light of day.