Not Waving But Drowning: A Review
The poem is all about a man who was out for a swim in cold water and went too far from the shore. The man began to panic when he realized that he went too further out. People only seen from the shore is a man who was just waving, they did not realize that the man was drowning and in need of help. They were all surprised when they knew that the man was dead.
The first two lines of the poem is an irony. It states that the man is already dead but still he managed to moan which might be the last thought before he died. The second line literally entails that he was too far from the shore and connotatively it might entail that the man does not know how far he was in the sea of life. The third line of the first stanza literally states that the man really is really in need of help and he is not just waving but drowning.
In the second stanza, the author is refering to himself who does not take life very seriously and to what people usually thought. He used to fool around and use it as a defense mechanism to cover his real feelings and problems. In the secon line, the author implies that the dead man has always been dead since people do not notice his problems, though he never really showed it to them. People’s ignorance and misinterpretation of the author’s real situation lead to his death. However, people who are his associates blame his death to the cold water and not to their ignorance of his real condition at that time.
In the third stanza, the author is now refering to life in general. He tells that life is too cold that he does not get any help when he had problems thus he is still crying out for help. Althroughout his life, he is drowning in his own problems but people think that he is just fooling around. They did not think that he needs help, thus he ended up drowning in his own troubles in life. Humans could be misleading in their actions and they are easily misunderstood. Indeed, humans are too busy in their own lives that they fail to see what is happening around them.