Drowning, not waving

2 May 2010

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.

                                                        Stevie Smith, 1957

I know, I’m being melodramatic here.  I’m less preoccupied with death than with the hundreds of pages of student writing I’ve been wading through for the past week, which makes me morose.  Today I’m 30% of my way through the 390 pages I absolutely must finish by tomorrow.  Yesterday I completed only 280 pages, and thereby got behind.

Luckily, there’s an end in sight:  “How to Train Your Dragon,” a whizz-bang 3D experience custom-made for my lovely partner’s birthday tonight.  So different than the Stevie Smith that has been on my mind for the past hour.

Ah, the semester’s end isn’t far off.  Only about 2,000 pages of student writing left to go (after today, that is), and I’ll have the freedom to return to writing for pleasure. But I might sneak some pleasure writing in beforehand, if I can squeeze in a moment.

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2 Responses to “Drowning, not waving”

  1. servetus Says:

    “Dragon” was fantastic, although I note that you left out a reference to the politics of its feminism. 🙂

    Meanwhile, just for your information, Richard Armitage starred in a short daytime play called “drowning not waving.” It features a very strong female lead opposite him (Christine Tremarco?).

    Hang in there.

    • didion Says:

      There comes a point when even the most relentless feminist feels the need to rest from banging the table and complaining. Although now that you’ve asked, I won’t miss the opportunity to note that the female character in “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” was way better (actually had a character, a back story, and development).


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