One of the people who will forever be associated with Titanic is Bruce Ismay, owner of the White Star Line that made the ship. He was on the maiden voyage and, of course, survived the tragedy. His fate his sympathetically described by Derek Mahon in the poem ‘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 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.
His life after Titanic is described in an article written by Rosita Boland in the Irish Times of 7th April 2012. Follow this link to read the article:
If your time and interest stretch to reading a whole book on the topic then it is worth looking at Frances Wilson’s biography ‘How to Survive the Titanic or The Sinking of Bruce Ismay’.