Wednesday Words

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Not Waving but Drowning

Stevie Smith, 19021971

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 heโ€™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.



Photo Credit: kmakice via Compfight cc
Poem:  http://www.poetryfoundation.org/learning/poem/175778

13 thoughts on “Wednesday Words

  1. Marian says:

    This is an almost painfully poignant piece, Rita. It reminds me so strongly of three specific incidents when I was growing up, in which I felt I was screaming inside, hoping desperately the adults around me (my aunt, a neighbour, a doctor) would simply be able to SEE that I needed help. Sometimes words/situations/feelings are so unspeakable it DOES feel as though one is going to drown in them.

    I have to say you have me more than just a bit worried. I’m thinking/hoping this poem is merely the first in a new series (Wednesday Words), and that this particular selection is not because it speaks to where you are, personally, right now. However, if it IS where you are right now, and if you’d like to talk off-line, please don’t hesitate to send me an email. I’m quite certain you have plenty of family and “real-life” friends you can talk to, and I do feel almost silly to offer, but the offer stands regardless. (And I’m like the best listener EVER ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).
    Marian recently posted…Growing All The KaleMy Profile

    • Rita says:

      Marian, I think it is never silly to offer to listen to someone who might be feeling all alone. Thank you so much for reaching out. I’m OK–it’s just been a particularly cold week in Siberia. This poem makes me think of several people. Not sure if this is a new feature? I think I might like to make it one. I’m always interested in juxtapositions between words and images. Not that this one is that interesting, but that might be something fun to play with.

  2. Kari says:

    I love you friend.
    I have been drowning a little this week and not waving.
    I need to keep this poem around because I feel like every single one of us has weeks , months, years like this and sometimes we need to let others know.
    Because I would hate to think that someone else was drowning around me and not waving.
    Kari recently posted…Citrus Bowl My A@#. More Like Citrus Hole.My Profile

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