NOV 1994





Thomas Hardy Reports on the Raising of 'The Titanic'
Just because you raised it, you think
I've well & truly gone down with the ship
like Keats, stout Cortez & all that. We'll see.
I looked over your salvage & retrieval scheme.
The electronics, of course, were beyond me but
the principles of architecture, hydraulics &
marine engineering are three & the same.
I'll give you credit where credit's due:
V2's, flame throwers, splitting the atom
a cosmology to see & not to see black holes
& spiral galaxies screwing your Milky Way.
Predicting doom was always fun. I thought I'd die
& I was right. I didn't meet my Maker but my end.
I might have taken out poetic licence on my iceberg
but what can you prove with a thin hull that
can't be fobbed off with a thick hide?
Poor design? Find the firm & they'll say
the hull-work was contracted out &
all records went up in the blitz.
If you can pin it on a body corporate
the con man will have worked for commission
proved unreliable, been fired & shortly after
met with an accident in mysterious circumstances.
Of course I was the iceberg. The iceberg was I.
I thought we sank your floating class system
but I was wrong. If I'd managed to be right
every time, I would have been an optimist.
My Schopenhauer might have caught doom & gloom
from what would have responded to penicillin
but be careful what you say about me -
I lived longer than the death of The Titanic.

Graham Rowlands is widely published in national magazines and newspapers. He is a long-time poetry reviewer for Overland.