Friday, May 14, 2010

Poetry Friday -- Drowning

Not Waving But Drowning
by 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.

Here's a poem with interesting connections to the Stevie Smith poem above:
"This is a Photograph of Me" by Margaret Atwood
(Thanks, Author Amok!)
Anyone else have poems about drowning to add to our "text set?"


Fifteen more student days.

I'm not waving, I'm drowning.

Toss me a life preserver on your way over to Jama's alphabet soup for the round up. She's got a pot of hot tea and a plate of cookies ready for you. Even her teacups are poetic!


  1. I love reading a familiar favorite poem in a new light! Here's something to bear in mind while not waving but drowning: raising your arms over your head lifts your mood and makes it hard to frown. Use both hands!

  2. Thanks, Heidi! My hands are up and I'm smiling, not drowning!

  3. Right there with you! Hang in there!

  4. Yes, Carol, and teachers everywhere -- HANG IN THERE!

  5. I feel you, as my students would say. Keep your head above water!

  6. Ruth, I'm actually using a straw as a snorkel -- that's how far under water I am at this point...but my hands are up and I'm smiling, not drowning!

  7. Hang in there, teachers! Know that parents appreciate all you do.

    ML -- Do you know Margaret Atwood's poem, "This Is a Photograph of Me"? Might make an interesting pairing with your posted poem.

  8. That poem means a lot to me -- from many years ago. Anyway. Good Poetry Friday choice.

    Good luck with your fifteen more days!

  9. Fifteen days!
    You can do it, Cuz.

  10. Anonymous4:02 PM

    You may be drowning, but you made me smile anyway.

    Hang in there.


  11. It's 4:10 PM, and now there are FOURTEEN student days left! Thanks for all the positive energy today -- you all helped me keep my head up (and my arms up) and keep smiling!

    I added a link to the poem Author Amok mentioned. It does resonate with Smith's poem in interesting ways. Are there any more poems about drowning?

  12. I've read "Not waving but drowning" before, but not in conjunction with Atwood's poem. That adds depth (no pun intended).

    Only 14 days, you can do it!

    Laura Evans

  13. Interesting poem--the way the pov shifts in the first stanza jarred me and left me a little disoriented...And those final two lines!

    Love the Atwood poem too.

    Hang in there, Mary Lee. I'm drowning a bit, too, right now. Just trying to stay afloat...


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