Poem Analysis : Not Waving But Drowning

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The poem Not Waving but Drowning was published in 1957 and is one of Stevie Smith 's most well-known poems. Reading the poem, some may feel a chill of desperation and a sense of longing for someone. The plot of the story is a man 's journey to a place of despair ,and no matter what the man accomplishes he will eventually drown.Stevie Smith 's Not waving but Drowning uses figures of speech such as imagery, and allegory. The imagery adds a visual to what the characters world is like in his eyes, The use of allegory is to get a message across to its readers without actually saying it.He is battling an obstacle that he feels can never be overcome. With all the disappointment and regrets crushing over him, he is broken . Not Waving but drowning, begins with a straightforward cry for help. A man drowning and all he is too far away to be seen or heard by his friends. What is interesting about the poem, is its use of depressing humor, and ridiculous comments about the man. In an article written by Edward J. Mallot called “Not Drowning but Waving: Stevie Smith and The language of the Lake.”, Mallot explains Stevie Smith 's writing style, and technique. The article lists three different personas used in the poem. Knowing the different personas helps the reader understand what is going on. The list of personas include the audience, the man drowning and his peers which Mallot puts into detail in his article,“The drowned man trying… and still failing… to articulate his unhappiness,

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