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The Nancy Walton Pringle Memorial Prize

Debra A Daniel

Titanic Violin: List

Violin Played as Titanic Sank Sells for $1.7 Million

                                                      Wallace Hartley’s violin was found strapped to his body
                                                      after he drowned with some 1,500 others.


Never mind that it’s unplayable,
that no music remains in its strings,
that no one will bow a concerto
from its hollow body,
everyone knows the owner’s legacy,
his watermarked relic,
and how he spent his last hours.

And what of your final plunge?
Would you belt show tunes
from South Pacific or Brigadoon,
hum the lullaby of your cradled youth,
launch into a marching chorus
from the Baptist hymnal?

Would you opt instead
for an orgasmic encounter
with an unknown lover thrust
from the grasping throng of frantic
hands into your urgent embrace?

Would you cower in a corner, or offer
your place in the lifeboat
to the valiant young husband
with the pregnant wife, or, armed
with only prayer and adrenaline,
dive into the icy midnight?

Titanic Violin: Text
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