Sunday, 16 February 2014

Stevie Smith reads 'Not Waving But Drowning'

When Stevie Smith gave poetry readings during the last decade of her life, those in the audience who knew her work were surprised by her slight, prim and strict schoolmarmish appearance--it ran counter to the warmth and humour of her verse; while those who did not know her work, were surprise to find that poetry could be such fun. 

Stevie Smith wrote beautifully crafted poetry and prose, with a simplicity which belied its serious intent. Smith believed that good writing had to be:
"...sad, true, economical and funny..."
I had never heard Stevie Smith's voice before, and was therefore delighted to hear her in this short film reading, what is perhaps her best known poem, "Not Waving but Drowning." 

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