The Wreck of the Titanic

Summary / Review / Appreciation

The Wreck of the Titanic by Benjamin Peck Keith is a poem that glorifies the bravery and valour of the captain and crew of the Titanic on its maiden journey.  The first three stanzas describe the grandeur of the ship.  The poet calls the ship a ‘poem of iron and steel’.

On the fateful night when it struck the huge iceberg, Captain Smith, the brave commander of the ship never thought for a moment to save himself.  He stood on the bridge and called out to the crew to be brave and be true to the values of their nation.  They answered his call to ‘be British’ and made their country proud. 

When the life boats were lowered one by one and sent away, the band continued to sing the song “Nearer my God to thee”.  It will be difficult to find such an awfully grand scene anywhere else in history.  The poet then recollects a series of historical events where similar bravery was shown.  With all those stories, the story of the Titanic will also be considered by the future generation as a sublime example of courage shown with utmost nobility.

The poem is written in rhyming couplets.  The figures of speech like the metaphor, alliteration, assonance and consonance lend immense beauty to the poem.  The metaphors identifying the ship to a sea dream and a poem of iron and steel are striking.  The simple words used are carefully chosen to evoke the emotions intended by the poet.
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