Not Waving but Drowning

An old post from 2014, something very personal. Other than Jude, I don’t think most of you have ever seen it. (I just remembered that it was reblogged on Sally’s site, in 2017. Apologies for the repetition!)

When you see someone splashing in the water, they may not be waving, but drowning.


I would like to thank Jaypot, for suggesting that I explore my childhood for inspiration. Here is the first result of that exploration.

Stevie Smith wrote this famous poem, in 1957. If you have never heard of it, here is a link;
I did not become aware of this poem until the 1970’s, and considered it to be a fine piece of work. More than that, it had a connection for me, that even now, is painful to recall. I must start by saying, by way of a disclaimer, that many of the events recounted in this post were told to me later, by my parents. (Though despite my youth at the time, I do actually remember the main occurrence, as if it happened yesterday). This also applies to the exact geography of the location, a place I have never visited since, and which may well have changed, over…

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20 thoughts on “Not Waving but Drowning

  1. I don’t know how I missed this earlier Pete. Such a vivid, frightening account but thankfully with a happy ending. I have read before that people who are drowning do not have the strength or the breath to cry out for help and slip under silently. How fortunate you were to have a savior nearby. You were meant to live!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Elizabeth. Sorry to hear about your friend. I fully understand why you have never forgotten that. My Mum used to talk about this often, when she was much older. The details were still vivid in her mind, after 55 years.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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