Saturday, 4 May 2013

Waving not drowning

At last week’s meeting, we briefly touched on Sylvia Plath.  We all seemed to be in agreement that she wrote ‘Not Waving but Drowning.’  I did have a little niggle, so I wanted to check.  I googled it and It was Stevie Smith who wrote it.

 I know Sylvia Plath was an admirer of Stevie Smith; they may have met at some time.  One of Sylvia Plath’s famous quotes was ‘I’m not waving, I’m drowning’ which she did tribute to Stevie Smith.
I think we all get confused because the literary critics used the quote when looking at events leading up to Sylvia Plath’s suicide.
Whilst I was googling, I came across another one of her quotes. ‘Nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing.’  That’s the smell in my house then!
Here's the Poem

Waving not 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.

Stevie Smith


No comments:

Post a Comment