Not Waving But Drowning – Persona

#vizpoem The persona of this poem seems to be about someone who is in need of help, but just hides it.  “Nobody heard him, the dead man” sounds like the author wanted someone to help him, but he was afraid to ask for help.  “I was much further out than you thought, and now waving but drowning” seems to portray that the author masked his problems so well that everyone thought he was happy, but he really wasn’t, he was “drowning,” he let his situation go too far and didn’t think there was a way to turn back.

There was a similar situation in the movie Prayers for Bobby, which is based on a true story.  Ryan Kelley plays Bobby Griffith, a teenager who realizes he is gay and he tries to get his family to accept it, especially his mother.  She is very relligious and she tries to get him to pray more and hopefully that will help him realize he isn’t gay.  She tries to get him to hide his homosexualilty in public because it embarrasses her.  Ryan finally moves away from home, finds a boyfriend, and then gets cheated on.  He ends up hating himself and believing that he is a horrible son, is very withdrawn and depressed but tells no one.  Finally he can’t take it anymore and he takes his own life.  Ryan was crying out for help but no one heard him, especially his mother, and she should’ve been the one to try to help him work out his problems so he is happy, not she did the opposite.

Prayers for bobby poster.jpg


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