Stevie Smith

Not Waving but Drowning Requires Real Player.

Recorded at the Edinburgh Festival in 1965 at a time when the poet was experiencing a resurgence of interest in her work and giving plenty of readings. All that practice didn't however stop her stumbling over the words of this 1953 favourite.

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.

Reproduced by permission of Hamish MacGibbon.