Curious Volumes

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“‘Tis some visiter,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

I have an idea to write a parody of The Raven which is about the PhD or viva prep. The idea hasn’t fully come together in my mind.

As a starter, I like to imagine that the narrator is someone preparing for their viva. I can imagine that many researchers produce curious volumes! Towards the end they may be up late re-reading their thesis. Stressing over it perhaps – “weak and weary” – when someone knocks on their door.

Not a stranger, but a friend, offering to help. “What do you need?” That would be nice, right? You don’t have to do it all alone.

Of course you’re probably not sitting up at midnight hunched over your thesis, people (and ravens) probably don’t knock at your door that often after dark. So alternatively: go ask people for help. What would make the difference to you?

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