Not Waving But Drowning By Stevie Smith Essay

1147 Words Oct 2nd, 2015 5 Pages
“Not Waving but Drowning” is a poem by Stevie Smith about a man who is drowning in the cold water but nobody thinks he is drowning but waving at them. The poem is only 12 lines long and has almost a humorous tone considering the horror of watching a man drowning to death. Smith states in line 5 “Poor chap always loved larking” which caused people to not take the man serious which ultimately cost him his life. The poem is metaphoric for someone drowning in their own mind but mask their pain with a smile so no one around will know how much they are hurting. Smith battled her own physiological problems, she thought about suicide at the age of 8 and struggled with her father abandoning her. The theme of the poem is death, drowning in your own mind. The title “Not Waving but Drowning” signifies a person who disguise how they feel to the people around them or maybe the people around choose not to look closer at the man drowning because they do not want to be bothered with saving the man. Line 7 states “It must have been too cold for him his heart gave away” the man gave up and let death consume him. The setting takes place in the third person, and describes the circumstance in the first line “the dead man.” Smith also repeats the title name twice giving the poem a patter, once in line 4 and line 12. Smith also wrote in line 3 “I was much farther out than you thought” but in line 11 write “I was much too far out of my life.” This is significant because it uncovers the symbolic…

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