Friday, 11 January 2013

Vacaciones en México: Parte 8

A leisurely afternoon on a beach called Xpu-ha (pronounced something like Eshpoo-ha). Imagine glistening white sands and a warm turquoise sea - just like the beach in the old Bounty Bar ads? That's Xpu-ha.
Not drowning but waving
I'd taken the above photograph and, almost immediately, the Stevie Smith poem 'Not waving but drowning' came into mind. Once upon a time I could recite the three verses off by heart but no longer. I spent the afternoon trying to remember the lines but I can only give myself 60% for effort. Here's what I could not quite recall.

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.

There's a lot more emotion in this poem than a first read might suggest and it's well worth hearing Stevie Smith herself talking about her inspiration for it and, from around 2.47 mins onwards, reading it. Great stuff and hooray for the internet and YouTube.

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