My Favourite Poem

WPDToday is World Poetry Day. World Poetry Day (or WPD to it’s nearest and dearest, which, for the purpose of this post, is us) came about in 1999 when UNESCO were sitting for their 30th session in Paris, France. On their website, UNESCO state that one of the main objectives of WPD is to …

“recognize the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind.”

It is also to promote the teaching of poetry and basically make people sit up and have a think about poetry and it’s place in our culture.

I can’t claim to be any sort of Literati type, I don’t have a degree in English Language or an MA in Poetry which, I reckon, makes me the target audience for WPD. So I thought I would post my favourite poem of all time “Not Waving but Drowning” by Stevie Smith. I love this poem for many reasons – it was a piece I performed for my Theatre Arts A-Level back in the dark ages and I am grateful to the lecturer who introduced me to it. As I have grown up and negotiated life’s curve balls the words have stayed with me and there have been dark moments when the message behind the poem rang very true. Equally, as the trickier times have passed I hold onto the words as a sign of what I have come through and survived and, in fact, I almost called this Blog “Not Drowning but Waving” in homage.

So, for those of you who aren’t familiar with it here is my No.1 verse in honour of World Poetry Day.  Do you have a favourite poem?  I’d love to hear what it is.

 Not Waving but Drowning

By Stevie Smith

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.


2 thoughts on “My Favourite Poem

    • Dorset Divorcee says:

      Thank you Dawn, really good to hear from you. I wasn’t familiar with that poem so I looked it up and I agree, it’s great. So now I have learnt something new courtesy of World Poetry Day!


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