poets I’m reading: Not Waving but Drowning by Stevie Smith

Today’s offering is the best known of Stevie Smith’s poems.

A poem, she once told a friend, was a relatively light thing; it could be carried around “while you’re doing the housework”.

Rachel Cooke in The Guardian – 6 April 2015

 

Not Waving but Drowning – Stevie Smith 

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.

 


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