Various Themes Of Stevie Smith's Not Waving But Drowning

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“Not Waving but Drowning.” In the midst of a good time any person, no matter how happy they may seem, could be fighting an inner turmoil and be crying out for help. Different aspects of Stevie Smith’s life are mirrored in many of the subjects in her poems. Stevie Smith’s early experience with loss and the lack of time to grieve properly not only affected her personal life, but also permeated her work such as in “Not Waving but Drowning” through her style of writing, chosen themes, and various perspectives.
Stevie Smith was born on the 20th of September in 1902 in Hull of Yorkshire in London, England as Florence Margaret Smith, later nicknamed Stevie after a friend compared her to a popular jockey Steve Donoghue. Stevie was born a weak and fragile baby, possibly due to her mother’s sickened condition at the time and was christened at home instead of at the church her sister Molly was christened at. Stevie’s parents were Ethel Rachel Spear and Charles Ward Smith. Not much is known of their relationship before or after the birth of their daughters. Charles wanted to go into the Navy, however, when his brother drowned while serving his family forbid it, leaving him in his family’s business as a shipping agent. Later during the Boer war his dream of serving was once again put on hold when Ethel discovered she was pregnant with Molly. Charles continued to work soon falling into a deep debt, when Stevie turned three Charles left his family for work at sea. He would occasionally
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