After the Titanic
They said I got away in a boat
And humbled me at the inquiry. I tell you
I sank as far that night as any
Hero. As I sat shivering on the dark water
I turned to ice to hear my costly
Life go thundering down in a pandemonium of
Prams, pianos, sideboards, winches,
Boilers bursting and shredded ragtime. Now I hide
In a lonely house behind the sea
Where the tide leaves broken toys and hatboxes
Silently at my door. The showers of
April, flowers of May mean nothing to me, nor the
Late light of June, when my gardener
Describes to strangers how the old man stays in bed
On seaward mornings after nights of
Wind, takes his cocaine and will see no one. Then it is
I drown againwith all those dim
Lost faces I never understood, my poor soul
Screams out in the starlight, heart
Breaks loose and rolls down like a stone.
Include me in your lamentations.No reason for this post other than a powerful poem, and one I met over at the Self-Syled Siren's wonderful discursion on the three film versions of the Night The Great Ship Went Down.
The speaker is one Bruce Ismay, manager of the White Star Line in 1912. While over 1500 of about 2200 passengers died, he jumped into a partly filled lifeboat as it was about to be lowered. He was publicly pilloried for breaking the Victorian moral code as "J. Brute Ismay", became a recluse and died a broken man.