Not Waving But Drowning.
Not waving but drowning - the poem written by stevie smith is itself a conceit. The whole poem is an extended metaphor for someone going through depression and his cries have constantly been ignored. The phrase "I was much further out than you thought" gives out a message that the man was too far out all his life. He had nothing to look forward to, this could also mean that he hence drowned on his own will. Though "Still lay moaning" shows that he had been trying to show his emotions since a long time but he was hiding behind false emotions. "Poor chap, he always loved larking. And now he's dead" is a sarcastic caption , this shows that the town people show no little concern about his death. Maybe also because he was always cold , to just hide his sorrows. The poem could also be interpreted as ,that the man all this while has been drowning and not waving as from far flawing your hands look like you are waving, the people must have hence misperceived his predicament and hence left him there alone, to drown. Not waving but drowning stresses pain and suffering, specifically the pain and suffering of a dieing old man. "Oh no no no , it was too cold always" shows that if he died from being in depression, he was always in depression, and no one realized as he hid it all this while, by larking and trying to be happy. The poet concludes the poem with "And not waving but drowning" which shows that the man is in complete denial and dies in despair.
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