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OCR GCSE English Literature Unseen Poetry | Time and Place

pdodd | Sunday December 07, 2014

Categories: KS4, OCR GCSE, OCR GCSE English Literature 2015, Component 02: Exploring Poetry and Shakespeare

Guide Navigation

  • OCR GCSE English Literature Unseen Poetry | How to Use
  • OCR GCSE English Literature Unseen Poetry | Contents of Poems
  • OCR GCSE English Literature Unseen Poetry | Love and Relationships
  • OCR GCSE English Literature Unseen Poetry | Natural World
  • OCR GCSE English Literature Unseen Poetry | Conflict and Power
  • OCR GCSE English Literature Unseen Poetry | Time and Place
  • OCR GCSE English Literature Unseen Poetry | Youth and Age
  • OCR GCSE English Literature Unseen Poetry | Glossary

Time and Place

A

This poem, by Derek Mahon, is about Bruce Ismay, the President of the company which owned the ‘Titanic’. He survived when the ship sank in 1912.

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 hat-boxes
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.

What is this poem about?

This poem is about the troubled life of Bruce Ismay after he survived the sinking of the Titanic. The poem shows that he may have survived in the physical sense but he has become emotionally unwell. In this poem Mahon imagines what Ismay’s life was like as he suffered for the rest of his life with his
memories.  Ismay feels he has been badly treated and this is emphasised in the poem...


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