‘I was much further out than you thought’

I first came across Stevie Smith’s “Not Waving But Drowning” in “The New Oxford Book of English Verse”, chosen and edited by Helen Gardner. This post certainly does the poem justice.

Charlotte Gann

IMG_20180105_125224092_HDRThe poem ‘Not Waving but Drowning’ by Stevie Smith is only twelve lines long. Yet, the first time I read it, it created in my mind, for evermore, a whole world – and life story. Not thepoet’s – or certainly not directly; no, ‘the dead one’’s:

Nobody heard him, the dead man,
But still he lay moaning:
I was much further out than you thought
And not waving but drowning.

The poem paints a vivid scene. We see a man waving; drowning; overhear words spoken perhaps in a crowd – at least, I picture a small knot of people gathering on the shore; maybe, someone quoted in the local news – a witness. (And Stevie Smith did get her original inspiration from a newspaper story, she said.) But these aren’t just casual bystanders; they also know or knew the man, at least in passing. Maybe they’re neighbours, or…

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About drewdog2060drewdog2060

The purpose of this blog is to showcase my writing (gosh that sounds pompous but it isn't meant to be, honestly)! Thus far I have published two ebooks on Amazon, "Samantha", which can be found here http://www.amazon.co.uk/Samantha-ebook/dp/B00BL3CNHI/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top and "The First Time" which can be found here http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-First-Time-ebook/dp/B00AIK0DD6/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1366827393&sr=1-1&keywords=kevin+morris+the+first+time For further information on this and the other titles which I'll be publishing over the coming months please explore my blog. As new titles are published they will appear here. I hope you enjoy reading my blog and my books.

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