I love two things about this piece:
- The repetition
- It's message about perspective
The question the reader is left to ask is this: Who was the speaker fooling? Herself or those around her? For whom did the show play out? Is the speaker realizing for the first time that she has been hiding her true feelings, her drowning, behind a seemingly happy-go-lucky facade of waving, or is she accusing the reader of not paying close attention and mistakenly interpreting the panicked flailing of the drowning as an "all's well here!" wave?
The answer will vary depending on the reader and the reader's current state of mind as I have already demonstrated in my two different posts on the poem. Ultimately, I think Smith is encouraging us to stop and look again from a different angle. We may be surprised by what we see.
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