This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Poem Of Chronic Despair Essay

810 words - 4 pages

Poem of Chronic Despair ?Not Waving but Drowning,? by Stevie Smith, is a poem about chronic despair and underlying pain. Smith uses poetry as a way to express her own feelings and desires. In this poem though, she misleads the reader by using terms such as he, him, and his, inferring that the poem is speaking about someone else. However, I believe that Smith is using this wording as a decoy for her own opinions, thoughts, and ways of thinking. Stevie Smith was known for taking serious issues and expressing them in hidden ways; as was the case in ?Not Waving but Drowning.? When asking the question, who is the speaker of the poem, it becomes apparent that there is something unusual about that. It seems as if there are two speakers. I believe the first one to be the author herself, Stevie Smith. I came to this conclusion by the use of the word I, when she says, ?I was much further out?? (3). Here I believe the author is the speaker because the words are expressed as if ...view middle of the document...

While reading the poem it becomes apparent that there are two voices telling the story. This is an unusual technique used by the author. It is almost as if one of the voices is detached. What the author gains by this is more depth to the poem. It now has more meaning and understanding. Smith wants the audience to grasp the idea that the poem is about the author. She therefore includes a second voice to achieve that goal.The audience for which this poem is intended is the reader. Stevie Smith is attempting to take a serious problem, possibly about her personal situation, and turn into an ironic situation about a man drowning. This poem is ironic because the author is trying to hide the true meaning of the poem. At first glance, the words are just there to express a situation of a man drowning. However, upon more serious evaluation, there is much depth and hidden meaning behind the words. For example, when the speaker says, ?I was much further out than you thought? (3), she means that all her life she was much more distraught than any of her friends or family cared to realize. When she says, ?And not waving but drowning? (4), she means that it was more serious than people knew. The speaker is asking for help here and not receiving it. Then when the narrator says, ??he always loved larking? (5), he attempts to bring attention to the speakers cry?s for attention to her loneliness but they are overlooked as larking. Also the words, ??cold always? (9), could is an attempt at explaining the authors position of chronic despair. Stevie Smith hides in this poem, what is the actual case. She does not do this though, in hopes to cheat or mislead her audience. Instead it is done in order to master special artistic effects. That is why this piece is a good example of irony.Poetry is a written form of expression. Sometimes it may only be a few lines long, but upon further examination of those few words, a story is told with depth, meaning, and emotion. This is especially the case within Stevie Smith?s poem, ?Not Waving but Drowning.? Smith is able to personalize this piece of poetry in a discrete manor. Although at first glance it seems as if the poem describes an elderly man drowning, upon further inspection we are able to conclude that it tells a story about a women?s chronic despair and loneliness. This is a great poem.

Other Essays On Poem Of Chronic Despair

Project Paer Essay

2193 words - 9 pages Introduction*Poem title (The Caged Bird)*Brief introduce about the poem such as the author and the author's biography*chosen literary aspect (themes)*points of the literary aspect (topic sentence)Body paragraph 1Brief synopsisReasons choosing this bookBody paragraph 2Difficulties of racial discriminationEqual rights are not given to justiceBody paragraph 3Blacks were servile and bounded by traditionCan't have freedom to move aboutBody paragraph

Sylvia Plath. An Analysis Of Some Poems

2686 words - 11 pages and his death drastically defined her relationships and her poems-most notably in her elegaic and infamous poem "Daddy".Sylvia kept a journal from the age of eleven and published her poems in regional magazines and newspapers. Her first national publication was in the Christian Science Monitor in 1950, just after graduating from high school.In 1950, Plath matriculated at Smith College. She was an exceptional student, and despite a deep depression

Comparing And Contrasting The Joy And Misery Of Adolescence

2381 words - 10 pages despair. The girl in the poem is like Holden Caulfield and Neil Perry, because of the depression and their attitudes to their adolescent lifestyles.In Dead Poets Society, Neil Perry and his classmates progress through the joy and misery of adolescence. Neil is under the pressure of his parents, and has been this way his whole life. Neil Perry is a well-loved, appreciated and admired student at his school, his joys in life, are that he desperately wants


2104 words - 9 pages the land. "The evening star" described in the song is a form of the 'lotus bloom' whose long stalk is a string held by the spirits of the west, the star represents a guide and sense of wonder and heaven for the aborigines. There are several symbols that are used in this poem that symbolize fundamentally important parts to the Indigenous culture. "The lilies and of the Dugong," the lilies traditionally in Aboriginal culture are a symbol of

The Goophered Grapvine By, Charles W. Chesnutt

951 words - 4 pages Frances E. Harper. This poem showed the gloom and despair of the mother giving up her child. In addition to that, I learned how the vocabulary and figures of speech have changed drastically from this period of time. At times it was difficult to understand the language used in these poems and short stories because automatically you think of what the word means in present day not in the past. Also, a dictionary came into wonderful use while reading

Genetics, Brain Structure, And Behavior

1690 words - 7 pages Bipolar Disorder, also known as manic depression, is a depressive disorder (Buchana, 2007). Bipolar Disorder is a mental illness describes as a deep or persistent reaction of despondency or despair, as the loss of interest in areas of life that was once appreciated. Bipolar disorder is distinguished by mood swings from deep depression to intense euphoria, with some phases of normalcy. An individual suffering from bipolar disorder may display

Girl Interrupted

2227 words - 9 pages separates us from the rest of the crowd.Another aspect of the clinical definition is a chronic sense of emptiness and boredom. Kaysen comes clean and admits to this but not without providing a defense against it. She felt "desolation, despair, and depression," (279) as a direct result of societal pressures, conformity, and being different. No one understood her and this only perpetuated more feelings of solitude and isolation. This method of

Character In "The Yellow Wallpaper" By Charlotte Perkins Gilman

1587 words - 7 pages would not say it to a living soul, of course, but this is dead paper and a great relief to my mind-) perhaps that is one reason I do not get well faster. You see he does not believe I am sick!'(507) The men are under the impression that what they say goes and therefore the woman has no choice but to follow. 'He knows there is no reason to suffer and that satisfies him.'(508) This quote illustrates that the men are in control. If they strongly

Edgar Allen Poe's View Of Death In "The Fall Of The House Of Usher"

1836 words - 8 pages Edgar Allen Poe's Symbolism of Death in 'The Fall of the House of Usher'Death is defined as, 'The termination or extinction of something' (American Heritage Dictionary). Edgar Allen Poe uses this description in 'The Fall of the House of Usher' in different ways. Poe's intention when writing 'The Fall of the House of Usher' was not to present a moral, lesson, or truth to the reader; he was simply trying to bring forth a sense of terror to the

"Slaughterhouse Five" By Vonnegut

2264 words - 10 pages When one begins to analyze a military novel it is important to first look at the historical context in which the book was written. On the nights of February 13-14 in 1944 the city of Dresden, Germany was subjected to one of the worst air attacks in the history of man. By the end of the bombing 135,000 to 250,000 people had been killed by the combined forces of the United States and the United Kingdom. Dresden was different then Berlin or many of

Psychoanalysis And Freud

2420 words - 10 pages Psychoanalysis is a system of psychology originated by the Viennese physician Sigmund FREUD in the 1890's and then further developed by himself, his students, and other followers. It consists of three kinds of related activities: (1) a method for research into the human mind, especially inner experiences such as thoughts, feelings, emotions, fantasies, and dreams; (2) a systematic accumulation of a body of knowledge about the mind; and (3) a

Similar Papers

Strong Hope Essay

532 words - 3 pages Strong Hope "The Difference Between Despair" by Emily Dickinson focuses on the ideas of fear and despair. At first reading the poem is entirely about hopelessness. There is reference to a wreck, along with fear, and despair. While taking a deeper look you can see some hope glimmering in the last sentence. Dickinson puts on a show of sad realities that she later undermines with the a twisted sense of hope using a play on words

Comparison And Contrast Of "The Man With The Broken Fingers" And All Quiet On The Western Front

1323 words - 6 pages Front its characters are members of the German military. Carl Sandburg is from Illinois and his poem deals with an American war hero. These two literary works both have their similarities and differences, especially in the areas of point of view and theme.“The Man with the Broken Fingers” is written third person. Carl Sandburg uses the third point of view for many reasons. First, Sandburg uses the third person point of view to keep the

Analysis Of "Mr Bleaney" By Philip Larkin

996 words - 4 pages atmosphere. This is reinforced by the parallel between the poetic devices and the plot of the poem giving the feeling that life is repetitive, useless and therefore it creates an atmosphere of existential despair, reflecting the angst of the period after World War 2.

Blake. The Clod And The Pebble

700 words - 3 pages feet;suggest total subjugation and lack of self worth.The clod tries unrealistically, to live in a the world of innocence, to ignore the existence of pebbles to 'build a Heaven in Hell's despair'. Therefore, it is not realistic that a person who is totally meek and passive is the idea partner for anyone. That is how I'd connect this poem to our society. I do not believe that the pebble is the best either. I believe that for a relationship to become