Posts Tagged ‘Stevie Smith’

It is autumn and I have just left L’Hotel, the small Parisian hotel where I am staying until I find a more suitable and permanent address. I wave good-bye to the stout mustached Gertrude Stein look-alike proprietor, and slouch towards Boulevard St. Germain. As befits my current state of mind, my ankle boots are scuffed and desolation is in the air. Even the cooing pigeons fail to cheer me up, and each dry fallen leaf is a reminder of my literary failure. I frown, brushing stray croissant flakes from my purple velveteen suit jacket with a limp hand. If bronze could easily tarnish, the simple bronze buttons on my double-breasted jacket would be green. There is a brash man on the corner soliloquizing about Stevie Smith, and I catch the tail end of “Not Waving, But Drowning”. I’m so glad that they have picked a piece that reflects my current emotional turpitude that I flick them a coin. Nothing cheers like poetry and shopping, so I turn into a millinery shop for a new chapeau to accentuate my dapper suit.
“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.”


Simple Bronze Button (suitable for Paris)


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