Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Here’s what I want to say about the sinking of the Titanic.
It happened while Robert Frost was finishing his first book.
It happened while Charlie Chaplin was meeting with Keystone
and while the Baltimore Orioles were scouting Babe Ruth,

which is to say that that the Titanic went down in 1912.
And by “went down” I don’t mean slang for “happened”;
I mean what you already know, that it broke apart and sank
more than two miles to the Atlantic ocean floor.

Focus as we might on that and on Archduke Ferdinand’s
June, 1914 assassination at a Bosnian student’s hands,
let us notice that modern America was being born then.
The word “jazz” first appeared in a newspaper in 1913.

Ford began producing Model T’s by assembly line in 1913.
So things do happen, but other things happen in between.
No way Hollywood knew Chaplin would make the century.
No way the Orioles knew what they had on their hands.


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