Nobody heard him, the dead man


Not Waving But Drowning

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

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12 Responses to Nobody heard him, the dead man

  1. OS says:

    That’s one of Eli’s favourite poems, Mr Bronze. He’s always quoting it.

    I aktewally feel sorry for Brown. And then I don’t. Anyone who can appoint the scheming, slimy bastard Meddlesom, deserves all he gets.

    We are doomed I tells ya. Look who is leading in the opinion polls…a bloke who would have had us in a depression by now with his idea of how to get out of the financial mess.

    Is there a poem called: You’re damned if you do and you you’re damned if you don’t?


  2. Stephen Foster says:

    I can write one for you:

    You’re damned if you do
    and you you’re damned if you don’t
    so stay in bed.
    and play with your float.

    hem hem, illustration of why S Foster stick to prose

  3. AndyP says:

    As a former Labour member it part saddens an sickens me how the party has lurked rightwards, and how its leader’s persona and charisma will no doubt result in election defeat. The government is far from competent and there are many reasons it does not deserve another term.

    However even sadder is the likely victors are no better a prospect, if not even worse. Cameron is all personality and no substance, and behind the new image, the Conservative Party are still the nasty party, and I have not, nor never will forgive them for the policies in the 1980s that still reap the rotten fruits to this day. I would sooner smear my nether regions with meat paste and introduce them to a ravenous wolf than vote Conservative.

    And what of the Lib Dems? Increasingly they have moved closer to the big two. Ditching the idea of a higher rate of income tax, and now a u-turn on university fees, there is some truth in Cameron’s claim that there is but a cigarette paper between the Lib Dems and Tories. I think that can be extended to all three parties. It comes down now not about different philosophy or ideas, but who manages best. The current bunch couldn’t run a bath, and I wouldn’t trust the potential replacements to manage a good shit.

    So for me the only party that is different, offers a fresh approach, and genuinely believes in social justice is the Greens. It will be a hard journey to political recognition and electoral success, but the Labour Party managed it. If they win their targeted Brighton Pavillion constituency and earn their first MP, it will send a message that anything is possible and they are a credible force for change.

    That was a partly political broadcast on behalf of the Green Party [X]

  4. Stephen Foster says:

    That was a partly political broadcast on behalf of the Green Party [X]

    You don’t say :–)

  5. Daftburger says:

    You’re damned if you do
    and you’re damned if you don’t.
    No party standing deserves my vote.
    So, unfortunately, I won’t!

  6. OS says:

    5*’s for that, Mr D. Better than Mr Bronze’s poor effort methinks. George S would turn in his grave if he were dead, (which he’s not because he’s still using his bus pass) that his pupil wrote such a monstrosity of a peom…or a poem.

    BTW, Andy, I wouldn’t vote green if my life depended on it. I told the last ponticillious (good word if it is one) Green b’stard who used this forum to visit the Foreign Office. No reflection on you, young man, who’s principles encompass not only honesty, but politeness, too. So there. 😉

    Pulis out!


  7. AndyP says:

    OS – you’ll get a better State Pension under the Greens. That change your mind? 😉

  8. AndyP says:

    Thank you for the comment about the “principled and polite” comment OS. I do try, as you can see here…

  9. Daftburger says:

    Andy have you read ‘How to win friends and influence people’ LOL! 😀

  10. AndyP says:

    No but I have bought and intend to read “Dealing with people you can’t stand” by Drs Brinkman and Kirschner 😉

  11. burslemisbohemia says:

    Lovely, that. But for some reason when I read the poem, my brain automatically rants it back to me in the vocal style of the Angelic Upstarts. Which doesn’t diminish Stevie Smith in the least.

  12. Stephen Foster says:

    I can’t imagine the Angelic Upstarts using the word ‘larking.’

    Otherwise, welcome to the blog :–)

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