In Memory of The Titanic #3

Angela Topping

This first poem is by the marvellous Penelope Shuttle, who tells me a distant cousin of hers, Pearl Shuttle, failed to survive the sinking of Titanic. She was on her way to America to start a career in the vaudeville.

Mighty Ship of Pride

I built this ship

from the iron of my father’s eyes

the steel of my mother’s heart

Three million rivets

I built this ship

from the bones and the skin

the hours and the days

I built it by hand

on a 49 hour week

for pay of  two pound

I built it from tongues

of the wise and the foolish

I hammered

I wrought

How fast she grew

my ship of woe

 

I built this ship

from the nettles

in the yard

by the nuns’ parlour

from streets

of a stricken city

torn between pride

and grief

I built this ship

from leftover rivers

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