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Not Waving but Drowning

Not Waving but Drowning


by Stevie Smith

Not Waving but Drowning: (Not Too) Far Out Interpretations Quiz

Think you’ve got your head wrapped around Not Waving but Drowning? Put your knowledge to the test. Good luck — the Stickman is counting on you!
Q. What theme does the poem address most directly?

Man and the Natural World
Q. In the poem, what does swimming probably represent metaphorically?

Having fun
It's not a metaphor.
Q. Why does the dead man repeat himself in stanza 3?

To correct the others' misunderstanding
To punish his killers
To express his love
To tell people where he buried his treasure
Q. How can the dead man still be talking?

A wizard summoned him
He made a collect call
We don't know
He had a really good long distance plan before he died
Q. How do we know the other people are wrong about the dead man?

Because they seem like terrible liars
Because he says he was always isolated and struggling, not just as he died
Because they admit they didn't know him well
Because they didn't know he was dead