Monday, August 16, 2010

"Not Waving But Drowning" by Stevie Smith

Not Waving But Drowning

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

Poor chap, he always loved larking
And now he's dead
It must have been too cold for him his heart gave way,
They said.

Oh, no no no, it was too cold always
(Still the dead one lay moaning)
I was much too far out all my life
And not waving but drowning.

Source of the text - Stevie Smith, The Collected Poems of Stevie Smith.  New York: New Directions, 1983, p. 303.

TJB: A little proto-preraphaelitic moan, comprised mostly of quotes from & about the dead man, not so much that he died as that no one listened.

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