After the Titanic Poem by Derek Mahon

After the Titanic

Rating: 5.0


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 again with 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.

COMMENTS OF THE POEM
George Wright 16 October 2020

A wonderfully sad reverie of tragedy. Derek Mahon had the lasting gift of the right words for the right times. One thinks now of PTSD and survivor guilt but it was ever expressed so poetically. He was one of Ireland’s greats.

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