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. The first speaker, the narrator, appears in lines one, two, and seven. When he literally drowned, everybody saw that and showed him the deep sympathy. Five years ago my alcoholism progressed to a point where I couldn't picture life with or without a drink. She takes serious issues and cloaks them in humour, getting her point across in an inventive and clever way. People thought he was happier than he was in reality.
As we start reading the beginning of the poem, the use of multiple narrators in the first stanza gives the first few lines a conversational feel. As she had mental health problems herself I am sure that this poem reflected her own feelings about the wat the world treats people whith mental health problems. Figuring out a poem is almost like figuring out a puzzle. It deals with trying to convey meaning to someone and that person getting a completely different meaning out of it. Quite often you would not even speculate that something was amiss.
We were reaching out in subtle ways, but our loved onnes assumed we were okay. The poem Not Waving but Drowning by Stevie Smith is a great example of this. It seems to me that Not Waving But Drowning is not necessarily about someone drowning. Race, class, gender, ethnicity may be some of the important reasons behind his drowning. This poem to me is about a guy who everybody thought was a happy-go-lucky joker of the group, and so nobody took his cries for help, his waving, seriously, until it was too late, and even when he has gone, they still don't understand him, 'was much further out than you thought' and he is still being taken too superficially, and not being heard because of his reputation as a happy guy who couldn't be depressed or in need of help. The unclear subject raises the issue of who the speaker is, if he should not be able to comment on himself because he is already dead.
Being the jokester or the group no on thought anything of it. They had probably, when ever asked, said they would be fine and just moaned in jest, brushing everything off but in actual fact they were becoming further and futher out. No one cares a man when he is alive, but needs the human company, but after the death of the man, everyone comes to attend the funeral ceremony so as to show the fake grief. The subject of this poem was mental instability due to the man reaching out for help he did not receive. Even the first impression of the poem, the comical tone, now signifies the lightness meaninglessness of these connections without sincerity. They see him, attempt to recall something about his life, and then declare him dead without further ceremony.
Each of the speakers play a significant role in the poem. Also, finding multiple definitions or even definitions you might not know such as the word larking was very helpful. Thinking about the poem literally is reading the obvious a man drowning in the water. When a poem is able to make the natural world a character to root for or to dislike, it opens up countless dimensions of poetic intrigue that is unparalleled by most art. The text depicts a man who is misunderstood by others, as they think that he is waving his arms to say hello when he is in fact, signaling for help while drowning. Who was to know that this time the man was being serious? Smith employs two contradictory tones ironically in the same poem to represent the internal conflict that the speaker is suffering. But what I interpreted was that maybe the poem is a metaphor for someone that is too far into alcoholism or drug use and they cannot be saved and they are going to die.
Throughout the poem, the man can be perceived as depressed, isolated, and misinterpreted. They couldn't see reality because they assured each other that he was okay and just joking around. It, in a way, shows how others may pity this man because of how great he had it until this single event. In the beginning of the poem, the first two lines are somewhat confusing. Which to me, it is said sarcastically, in a sense that he is crying out for help, but no one believes him because in the next line it goes on to say; Poor chap, he always loved larking and now hes dead they said. Abe confronted the group, demanding that… 1155 Words 5 Pages Drowning In Plastic Mary-Rose Stewart Earth Science Mrs. The river likes it when people use it for bathing, but is more than willing to drown anyone who endangers themselves by passing the weir a barrier put up regulate water flow; typically it also acts as a barrier between more reliably calm waters and more naturally rapid currents.
Throughout the poem, the man can be perceived as depressed, isolated, and misinterpreted. At the poem's ending, we are left ashore ourselves. So the metaphor to me is talking about a death of habit. The speaker is suffering in a way she feels the dead man, who is perhaps on the beach, did as well. Through syntax, diction, and the use of metaphor, Smith illustrates a powerful stance on suffering in silence. But then looking at the diction of the poem the words and meaning of the poem start to change. He, like the drowning man, was the clown or fool of the group.
Smith pieces together a hauntingly beautiful depiction of what it really means to miss out on an opportunity to reach out for help. It is the beachgoers and watchers of a scene who are at fault. The three speakers work together to tie the whole poem together. Who does the speaker align himself or herself with—the drowned man or the gathered crowd? This makes understanding the poem as a whole a lot easier. Feeling isolated in this poem added to the drowning mans mental instability. From the third line in this stanza? It haunts you for the rest of your life, if you let it. Suddenly the voice of the dead man appears again and clarifies the crowd that it was always cold for him throughout the life.
The most important literary term that makes up a poem is the speaker. Then it goes on to say for the first time, Not waving but drowning. I think pressure is the operative word here: the pressure of daily life; the pressure of having to earn one's own living, possibly at work that is not very congenial; the pressure of one's relations with other people; the pressure of all the things one hears about or reads about in philosophy, history and religion for instance, and agrees with or does not agree with; the pressure of despair. Even though his family and friends were aware of his pain, still they could not help him or may be dis not want to help him. The poem explores the complications arising from actions to elucidate ambiguities within the simplest of gestures.