By James L. Manniso
The disaster of the Titanic was marked in history from the first moment in time when the Titanic’s Marconi wireless operator keyed the “Help Signal” and taped out “C.Q.D.”, “C.Q.D.”, “C.Q.D.”, (The S.O.S. of its time), Titanic’s first frantic cry for help. A cry that sparked through the ether at the speed of light and forever changed the world. For when the news of the Titanic’s tragic plight reached ship and shore, the reaction to the disaster was unbelievably terrible and when verified, the history of the world recorded another horrific event… an event that would long be remembered. So great was the Titanic tragedy, that within a week after the sinking of the ship and for sometime thereafter, hundreds of Titanic songs, articles, and Titanic poems deluged the London Times, as well as other newspapers around the world. From the time that the first Titanic help signal, “C.Q.D.”, was sent and received to the present time a plethora of Titanic books, Titanic articles, Titanic movies, and other Titanic items have been and are still being produced.
Why such a compelling and enduring interest in the Titanic? Why even to this day has Titanic become in some circles synonymous with, ”colossal, disaster, luxury, greed, pride, invincibility, wealth, heroism, stupidity, mystery and intrigue? Well, this bard and painting artist has humbly attempted to elucidate on some of the pathos and eros of the Titanic story. In poetry and painting art, in a work entitled “The Saga of the Titanic,” I have attempted to tell my version of the Titanic story. However, this author is well aware that in the presenting of the Saga of the Titanic, of the many Times statements issued shortly after the Titanic disaster. The Times statements that were issued due to a deluge of Titanic songs, articles, and poems were submitted as expressions of pity and outrage… submissions that on the most part were deemed by the Times, “intolerably bad”. To the many would-be contributors, Times issued cautionary statements such as:
“No Subject For The Inexperienced,” or … “To Say Again, to write about the Titanic a poem worth printing requires that the author should have something more than paper, pencil, and a strong feeling that the Titanic disaster was a terrible one.”
In my reading of the many Titanic books and articles, viewing movies and Titanic documents, visiting museums that exhibit Titanic artifacts and memorabilia, and conversing with Titanic enthusiasts and Titanic historians, I too became intrigued by the Titanic’s saga. From these many multi faceted Titanic inputs, the Titanic saga began to well up in my creative spirit. As I contemplated on the saga of the Titanic, the muses took on a life of their own in my creative spirit and became: “Something more than paper, pencil, and a strong feeling that the Titanic disaster was a terrible bad one”. Over time, and with great effort, from paper, pencil, paint, brush and canvas, the keel of the Saga of the Titanic was laid, and the superstructure rose to lofty heights. From the spirit of the Titanic the heart and soul of the Saga of the Titanic was given birth. Thus, the Saga of the Titanic was launched for the people of the world to peruse and ask: “Is the Saga of the Titanic…. more than paper, pencil, and strong feelings that the Titanic was a terrible disaster?” I, the author of the Saga of the Titanic”, leave the answer to this question up to you…for you alone can judge the merit of the Saga of the Titanic.
The following is the author’s commentary on the creation of the Saga of the Titanic:
In my minds eye when I first began to compose the “Saga of the Titanic”, I went back in time to the Titanic launch and I imagined the hard and smart work effort that went into the planning and building of the Titanic. But before the Titanic was constructed there was a dream. The dream of the Titanic was a colossal dream, for one had to dream big to conceive of such a vessel as the Titanic. And then in order to turn the dream into a vision of reality, mind, men, material, machinery and money had to come together to build the great ship “Titanic.”
The merchants and the masters dreamed
Of a vessel great in length and beam -
A capital ship, a lofty argosy,
Built to weather the mightiest sea.
I pictured the exciting scene of May 31, 1911, the day of the Titanic launch. The day was clear and mild, a slight breeze blew across the River Lagan. Early morning crowds began gathering along the waterfront. Shipyard workers and their families and other Belfast townspeople climbed walls and other perches to gain the best possible view and to await the “big event”. Distinguished guests began to arrive at the shipyard and were received at the Harland & Wolff Company’s office. The most special guests were welcomed by top company officials and escorted into viewing stands that ran row by row along the waterfront. For the big event, the stands were draped in buntings and decorated with flags and other festive adornments. The crowd of more than 100,000 was electrified with excitement as all eyes were trained on the star of this big event, the Titanic. There, the mammoth giant sat proudly on her slipway. As proud as the men who conceived her, as proud as the shipyard workers who laid the keel and set the ribs, pounding hundreds of tons of rivets to fasten and erect miles upon miles of steel plates to cloth this majestic lady of the sea. And as all fair ladies of fashion require proper attire, no expense for luxury was spared to enhance the Titanic’s elegant beauty. As form follows function, the Titanic was an engineering marvel as well as a beautiful ship. At over 882 feet long with a displacement tonnage of 66,000 tons, the Titanic at the time of its construction was longer in length then the height of the largest structures on Earth. The Titanic was also the biggest ship and the most massive mobile object of her time. Capable of speeds of 24-25 knots with a maximum capacity 3,547 passengers and crew she was truly a dream come true. However, she had fatal flaws that were to turn the dream ship into a nightmare. The watertight bulkheads were not high enough. They were erected to a height of just 10 feet above the waterline, and there were not enough lifeboats for a full compliment of passengers and crew. Also, it was learned in recent years, that some of the steel used in the construction of the Titanic was of inferior quality, and may have contributed to the demise of the Titanic. But for now, the Titanic sat silently on her slipway. For her debut, the Titanic was freshly painted, her slick black hull reflected morning light and projected her shimmering silhouette onto the surface of the River Lagan. All eyes were trained on the Titanic in anxious anticipation of her launch into the arms of the awaiting sea.
Upon the blocks was set the keel
And fastened true the ribs of steel.
A structure of wondrous symmetry,
Towered above both land and sea.
"Unsinkable," some would say,
As each plate was riveted fast,
This giant ship would rule the sea
And forever last.
From steel of forge and steel of will,
This mammoth titan rose.
Stem to stern, keel to stacks,
She was elegant in her pose.
Her bridge was built to oversee
The oceans vast, the seven seas.
The wheelhouse with its mighty wheels
Would steer the ship through calm and gales.
Staterooms, ballrooms, and cabins, too,
Were luxurious through and through.
The finest woods from distant lands
Were carved by skillful, mastered hands.
Crystal hung from ceilings high,
Her graceful staircase reached the sky.
She was built to carry the aristocracy
And care for them in great luxury
Also those of meager purse
Were afforded passage of lesser berth.
But for all her, all and all
The Titanic had two fatal flaws -
The bulkheads were not tall,
And not enough lifeboats for all.
Finally, the Titanic was launched. Two shipyard workers had lost their lives from the time the keel was laid to the time of her launch…a harbinger possibly to the great loss of property, lives, and the suffering to come.
Soon, the press created an aura of invincibility. Articles were written in newspapers and marine magazines about the luxury, speed, safety, and engineering features of the Titanic. With understandable pride, the owners, designers, and engineers touted the Titanic as being the biggest and best in the world of shipping. When Captain Smith, the Commander of the Titanic was interviewed, he essentially declared the Titanic was “invincible” for he could not conceive of any disaster that would cause the Titanic to flounder. In the minds of many, the Titanic became a metaphor for invincibility… she could not be overcome by the forces of nature… the Titanic was “unsinkable!”
Now all was well… festive flags waved, rockets flared, crowds cheered as the Titanic made her way down the slipway and into the awaiting arms of the sea. For although the Titanic was forged from the steel of the earth and built on “terra firma,” her home would be the seas of the world.
Along her keel she slipped and groaned,
As the womb of earth delivered her home.
After thousands of pounds and the pounding of men,
>From the captive earth she was ready to fend.
Then the great ship left her cradle of birth
And spurned the soil of mother earth.
Into the arms of the waiting sea
To write R.M.S. Titanic into history.
Now safely in her element of the sea, the Titanic left Belfast and steamed into the night. Towering above the horizon, the Titanic was aglow with thousands of lights, like a sky filled with shooting stars; her glowing massive form silently sailed across the distant horizon as she steamed into the open sea. Throughout the night she sailed steadily down the Irish Sea and into English waters.
Upon rounding Land’s End, she made her way up the English Channel. Entering Southampton waters, the Titanic was piloted towards the White Star Dock where she was met by tugs. The tugs helped the Titanic to her berth where she came to rest. While at Southampton, the Titanic prepared for her maiden voyage across the great Atlantic Ocean. She had taken on 2,000 passengers and tons of food and drink and, was ready to set sail for New York. >From the “Gateway to the World”, as she began to sail, the British crowds that had gathered at the White Star Docks in Southampton started cheering, waving, and offering prayers to bid this “Pride of Great Britain” and her passengers ‘bon voyage.’
As the Titanic began her historic maiden voyage, with all the good wishes, cheers and prayers, who could have imagined that the “unsinkable” Titanic had an ill-fated date with destiny? Some believed that there were signs, harbingers of the impending disaster to come. Some had even mentioned that they had dreams and premonitions of the floundering of the ship.
However, as she started on her journey, little did the 2,000 passengers aboard know that a minor fire was blazing in a coalbunker. Though minor, the fire could have been potentially catastrophic, especially aboard a ship. Although, the fire was controlled with little effort, amazingly it was not completely extinguished and was left to smolder.
An additional ironic incident was that the Titanic almost had a collision with another passenger ship, the “New York”. Was this, too an omen of disaster to come?
As the tugs nudged the “mammoth wonder” guiding her from her berth, the captain gave the orders to fire up her powerful engines, transmitting 15,000 horsepower to each of her three propeller shafts. The churning props, along with her movement through the waters, created an enormous suction. This tremendous surge of suction caused the much smaller passenger liner, New York, to break loose from her moorings, snapping her lines and propelling the smaller ship on a collision coarse with the Titanic. Fortunately, the tugs were powerful enough to prevent the collision.
These, along with other mystifying and unexplainable situations and circumstances created a parallel aura of the Titanic, one of invincibility, “unsinkable” and another of vulnerability and impending disaster.
And I wrote:
From Southampton Docks she got underway.
Crowds shouted farewells on that memorable day.
From the “Gateway to the World”
The Titanic set sail.
To master calm seas
And the mightiest gales.
Then down in the depth of this mammoth wonder
Her powerful engines roared fire and thunder.
Like a humpbacked dragon with four stacks high,
She spewed her hot breath into the sky.
The mighty engines turned the shafts and props
As tugs nudged her from the White Star Docks.
But her propeller suction caused the ship New York
To bob and weave like a helpless cork
And snapped her lines, setting her free
On a collision course with the “Maiden of the Sea.”
Happily, the mighty tugs caught hold
And steered the ships into their folds.
Secure was she, out of harm’s way;
The Titanic was safe, for another day.
The interior of the Titanic was luxurious. She was adorned with the finest of furnishings, carpeting, beautiful carvings, and other works of art and luxurious amenities.
Quarters for the First Class passengers were luxurious beyond belief. This ship was virtually a floating palace for the rich and famous. Gaiety and fun was the tenure of the first cabin passengers.
Also, Second and Third Class passengers were treated to accommodations that were superior to those offered by other vessels. However, steerage passengers were strictly separated from the first class passengers.
With all of the aesthetic considerations and naval architectural functions that went into the designing, engineering and building of the Titanic, established her, as the biggest and best ship of her day.
On April 11, 1912, the Titanic lifted anchor and departed Queenstown, Ireland. The sky was fair, the sea calm, with only a slight breeze blowing to invigorate the passengers promenading the decks. The Titanic steamed into the open sea as the passengers slowly watched the land disappear from sight. Fun, food, drink and play were the ‘fair of the day.’ There was more than ample food, liquors, wine, and a variety of music to dance and romance the days and nights away until the Titanic reached it’s destined Port of New York. The bands played waltzes, jazz and other popular tunes of the day to suit the festive mood of the First Class passengers.
As the Titanic continued to sail toward her destination under the watchful eyes of Captain Smith, his officers, and crew, the steerage passengers assigned to quarters below decks, listened to the music and gaiety coming from above. But humbly they too ate, drank and made their own fun and music.
On April 11, 1912
At 13:30 bells,
The Titanic raised anchor from the depth of the sea
And set her course into history.
She had some 2,207 on board,
And tons of food and drink were stored.
Gaiety and fun ran high
As the sight of land was lost to the sky.
Into the Atlantic she set sail.
“A routine voyage that surely could not fail.”
The two-day old warning message received by the Marconi wireless operator on April 14 read:
“Captain Titanic –
Westbound steamers report bergs, growlers and field ice in 42 degrees north from 49 degrees to 51 degrees West, April 12.
- Compliments Barr”
A number of other iceberg sightings were received by the Titanic with seemingly little concern of pending danger, the Captain steamed ahead at 22½ knots.
Sunday, April 14, 1912 was a mild day, followed by a cold but clear night. First cabin passengers gathered below decks where gaiety and fun prevailed and music played, and an abundant flow of food and drinks were served.
As darkness began to fall and visibility reduced, an iceberg watch was ordered and lookouts posted. One lookout climbed to the dizzying height of the crow’s nest some 90 feet above deck. Vigilant was that sail or, as he strained to see dead ahead of the Titanic, looking for the elusive iceberg.
Again the Titanic’s wireless operator received a warning message of iceberg sightings. This time the message pinpointed the location of two bergs, but this message was not delivered to the Captain. This, and other careless handling of messages warning of the iceberg sightings and the apparent lack of caution as the Titanic steamed ahead at 22½ knots, set the stage for the doom that the Titanic was about to encounter. The lookout, high above the Titanic, without the aid of binoculars, strained his eyes in search of the iceberg of doom.
Then, a cry!! “ICEBERG RIGHT AHEAD!” Tragically that call was too late to save the fast moving ship. The Titanic hit the iceberg on her starboard side. The collision opened a gaping wound below her water line. The mammoth of the sea would die and take over 1,500 passengers and crew to a cold, watery grave of the deep. Slowly the Titanic began to sink as water rushed into the gaping wound in her side and cascaded over the insufficiently high bulkheads. Another cry went out. This time Titanic’s cry for help sparked through the air, at the speed of light. “CQD,” “CQD,” CQD”, the Titanic’s distress signal. But, tragically the cry for help was too late. The Titanic was sinking and was in desperate need of help. Then the final cry rang out. “Women and Children First.” With this announcement, panic, disorder, and confusion broke out. After awhile, order was restored by the crew and others and with some persuasion and force, the task of helping women and children into the lifeboats began.
Amid screams of anguish, uncontrollable cries and prayers pleading for help, passengers embraced and kissed, leaving family and friends on the doomed vessel, not knowing if they’d ever see one another again. Slowly the lifeboats moved away from the Titanic; slowly the Titanic sank deeper and deeper into the sea.
What motivated those who voluntarily stayed aboard the sinking ship after aiding others? What gave them the courage? What must they have felt? We can hardly imagine – for only they and a higher power knows their anguish and pain.
And I wrote:
On Sunday, April 14, 1912
All was calm, all was well.
Near midnight a cry went out –
“Iceberg right ahead!” was the shout.
The watertight doors were shut to the sea.
The wheel was spun port instinctively.
But the ship struck the berg on its starboard side –
A fatal wound; the mammoth would die.
Lifeboats were lowered so some could flee
Amid great confusion and much misery.
Women and children first was the cry-
As the brave stood on deck prepared to die.
“C.Q.D.”, “C.Q.D.”, “C.Q.D.”
The help signal sparked through the air
The Titanic’s cry for help and its beckoning prayer.
Some would survive this awful fate
Which revealed both cowards and heroes great.
Most men stood bravely on the sinking ship.
But a coward into a woman’s dress did slip
And into a lifeboat he did climb;
A seaman’s revolver protested the slime.
There were heroes, like “The Unsinkable Molly Brown,”
Who cheered frightened souls, soothing tears and frowns.
“Greater love hath no man, than to give up his life for a friend.” What made those men of the Titanic follow the unwritten Law of the Sea? “Women and Children First!” Can it be that there is a principle that within the heart and soul of mankind there exists a natural goodness? And, is goodness then, the golden thread that weaves the character of a culture that supports the proposition that women and children are to be protected? In some cultures the rule is “Men first, then children, and women last.” Or were the men of the Titanic in a trance, as Coleridge wrote, “I stood in unimaginable trance and agony that cannot be remembered.” Was it a bewildered trance that the men of the Titanic were in, and like zombies mesmerized by fear? Or, was it a ‘stiff upper lip,” just the “right thing to do?”
On April 15, 1912, when the Titanic tolled its final bell the band played solemnly, “Nearer My God to Thee,” the Titanic began its final descent into the depth of the sea. With more than 1,500 people still on board, she was slowly descending. Those who stayed on board the Titanic were mostly men but also some women. However, those who voluntarily stayed bravely gave up their lives so that others might live. Certainly within the spectrum of human emotions and cultural mores, not all were brave. In a crisis of life and death, as occurred on the Titanic, the tragedy caused people to react with a variety of emotions, some with wrath, others fear, panic, others courage, valor, and some cowardliness as death became shockingly real. Some must have stood idly by – immobilized by fear; some were panic stricken, scrambling and clinging for any shred of life in desperate hope of being saved from the inevitable drowning death. Some may have taken the lives of others in an attempt to save their own.
However, of all the human emotions, courage came from social and cultural mores. “Just to do the right thing,” and “keep a stiff upper lip,” and also valor that surmounted cultural upbringing and produced a prized nobility that, to this day, is remembered and memorialized as truly brave, courageous and chivalrous.
“For we have, all of us, a human heart.” Because if there is no statute, law or regulation, or enough guns, clubs or raw power to enforce the unwritten law: “Women and Children First.” Then, the enforcement of this unwritten law must be found in that part of humanity, where goodness is imbedded in the heart and soul of love and compassion. How else can we explain that, though all humans have a primitive fear of death, a sense of survival of the fitness for self-preservation, yet, bravery, courage and valor overcomes the fear of one’s own death and puts “Women and Children First”, and because bravery, courage and valor are rare within the human breast, we honor those of the Titanic for their heroic sacrifice.
When the dream of the Titanic became a ghastly nightmare of death and destruction, it produced poignant emotions that all aboard were forced to encounter face to face. Emotions welled up bursting within and articulated out of those who were in lifeboats, clinging desperately for life in the freezing sea, and for those on the deck of the sinking ship. All shared in emotions that were beyond comprehension of, I, who write these words, that only feebly express their anguish. Only those who were saved and those who went down to a cold, watery grave know the anguish in their hearts and souls.
Mercifully, the Carpathia came to offer aid to the desperate victims of the Titanic.
And I wrote:
On April 15, 1912
The Titanic tolled its final bell
As the band played solemnly
“Nearer, my God, to Thee.”
The great ship sank into its ocean grave,
Only some 705 souls were saved.
A survivor said of this ghastly scene,
“It appeared as a horrible nightmare, an eerie dream –
Because as the great ship sank into the sea,
Its lights glittered like strings of toy jewelry.
Then slowly, one by one, the lights went out -
Darkness fell. Death was all about.”
Mercifully, the good ship Carpathia came to aid,
Saving many a soul from a watery grave.
All were grateful, but all were sad
For the loss of friends and loved ones was horribly bad.
In its time, April 15, 1912 the terrible disaster of the sinking of the Titanic and the tragic loss of lives was as horrific as the September 11, 2002 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Tragic events send shock waves throughout the world, in general, and to the people directly affected, like people at the epicenter of an earthquake the terrible destruction of property and lives is horrific and devastating.
When the news of the Titanic disaster reached ship and shore, there was at first, a hush of bewilderment and disbelief. After all, the Titanic was ‘unsinkable.’
When horrific events occur, many of us at first do not believe that what we are hearing or seeing is real. A survivor said of this ghastly scene, “It appeared as a horrible nightmare, an eerie dream.” There is a sudden rush of adrenalin and we wait in anxious anticipation for verification of the news. When confirmation comes, we brake out of our stupor and intellectually and emotionally realize, this is an absolute fact, the event is happening, and we react with a variety of emotions and a multitude of questions. Such was the case with the sinking of the Titanic and the tragic loss of lives. When the public realized the magnitude of the disaster there was an immediate outcry throughout the land. “How could this have happened?” “Who is to blame?” “We were lead to believe that the Titanic was the most magnificent ship ever to be built and everyone had been told that the Titanic was ‘unsinkable!” OUTCRY! Questions, investigation, blame, condemnation, for those who were deemed to be at fault. Sympathy, tears, charity, memorials and prayers poured in for the victims and their families - all classes – First, Second, and Third. The Titanic dream became a nightmare for the many in steerage who had hopes and dreams of a new life in the New World America. From a distance, separated by class, the women in steerage watched and envied the lovely ladies, bedecked in sparkling jewels, wrapped in luxurious furs, dreaming that some day they, too, could achieve such opulence. The men saw the elegant gentlemen with their beautiful ladies and just yearned for their chance in America to rise up the ranks, like an Aster – worth hundreds of millions.
The rich and famous, especially the entrepreneurs who had invested in the planning and building of this great ship, the Titanic, dreamed of additional riches added to their coiffeurs. But, when the Titanic sank death and destruction came, it did not discriminate between the rich and poor. Victims and survivors were from every class, from the Captain, and investors in the Titanic, to those in steerage, all dreams were dashed by the chaotic nightmare of death and destruction. Fate did not discriminate between the humble and the great the rich or the poor.
And I wrote:
Then a great hush descended,
The world waited for the news.
Who would be saved? Who would we lose?
“The Titanic sunk! The Titanic sunk!”
was shouted from the streets.
She’s gone, she’s gone,” the cries faded
To mournful weeps.
“What are we waiting for, Mommy?
Why are we waiting so long?”
“We’re waiting for news of your father –
I pray that he’s not gone.”
Slowly the names were posted,
Bells were tolled throughout the land
For people of humble birth and people eminent and grand.
The sea did not discriminate
Between the humble and the great.
Those who survived and those who died
Were lifted or swallowed by sea, time and tide.
As with most disasters throughout history there were many recriminations as to both the cause and the fault of the Titanic disaster. Many comments were made, articles written, that alluded to the greed of capitalism as the root cause for the Titanic disaster. Blame was made at all levels from Captain Smith who commanded the Titanic to the entrepreneurs that invested in the Titanic. True, Captain Smith wanted to make a record crossing that would enhance the status of the great ship, Titanic. Caution was probably put aside in favor of breaking records which could lead to increases in passenger revenue for the Titanic's great Atlantic passenger sea trade. There were shortcuts that favored luxury over safety; not enough life preservers or life boats for all on board, bulkheads not brought to full possible height for maximum safety. Beautiful paintings that cost thousands, but no binoculars for the lookouts that cost only a few dollars and possibly less costly higher-grade steel, lead to the demise of the Titanic. The return on the Titanic investment was certainly a paramount consideration in the minds of those entrepreneurs who invested in the Titanic. Because of an attitude of financial gain, there were poor judgments made in favor of financial rewards over safety. These poor judgments were precipitated by the belief that the Titanic was "Unsinkable, Invincible."
" Pride cometh before a fall." The attitude of the higher-ups who put speed, luxury, and money ahead of safety set the stage for the Titanic disaster. If the attitude was "safety first," then there would have been enough life preservers and lifeboats for a full compliment of passengers and crew. If speed was reduced as the great ship approached the ice field a collision could possibly have been adverted or of less severity. If the attitude was "safety first,” the watertight bulkheads would have been sealed to the upper decks and if so, the gaping wound inflicted by the Titanic's collision with the iceberg would have been contained and the ship not have gone down. Also, possibly if higher grade steel were used, more ductile steel, the damage when the Titanic collided with the iceberg would have been minimized.
In retrospect, much could have been done if safety was the primary consideration in the construction and outfitting of the Titanic.
But this was not the case. So, because of the attitude of men, the great dream of Titanic turned into hellish nightmares, in which the Titanic was vulnerable to floundering. The statement that Captain Smith made regarding the Titanic's invincibility..."that he could not conceive of any disaster that would cause the Titanic to flounder." Captain Smith's conception was based on the belief that the Titanic was "unsinkable." But the Captain's conception was a product of perception - not reality. For the fatal flaws that would cause the Titanic to flounder were caused by the attitude of luxury and speed first and safety second.
These, and many other reasons, were the faults and the causes that were the precursor to the disaster. A disaster that created the Titanic's metaphors of colossal, disaster, luxury, greed, pride, invincibility, wealth, heroism, stupidity, mystery and intrigue. Metaphors that, even to this day, are synonymous with the Titanic disaster. However, the true disaster is not one of metaphors, but one of the poor souls, innocent souls, brave souls, who along with the Captain, officers and crew of the Titanic went down with the ship. The "Saga of the Titanic" commemorates the victims of the disaster and gives them voice, remembrance and tribute.
And I wrote:
The disaster of the Titanic rings throughout history
For its toll of loss resounds in hypocrisy
Because the disaster began in the minds of men
As arrogance and greed had its way with them.
Arrogance, because they believed nature could be tamed –
“Surely, the Titanic can beat nature at its game!”
And greed took on penny-pinching schemes,
As the moguls of gold made profit their dreams.
Thus, the “Saga of the Titanic” has lessons to teach:
The achievements of men have limited reach.
For when the love of money steers men’s goals,
From the depth of the sea can be heard the poor souls
Who cry in whispers from their watery graves?
“If not for arrogance and greed, we would have been saved.”