Prinzess Irene – Poem #117


The German ship S/S Prinzess Irene, which carried my grandfather and his eldest son Gaetano to America in 1906.  My grandmother followed several months later with their other two children, Margaret and Vito.  They never saw Italy again.   The ship was seized by the U.S. Navy during WWI, renamed Pocahontas and turned into a troop transport.


The tempest tossed she bore
the tired and the poor
before she carried soldiers
facing death on a distant shore.

Once she carried hopes and dreams
as he bid farewell to King and country;
no bands were playing on the day
  he sailed away from Napoli.

His eldest boy just nine, kissed his mom farewell
and holding poppa’s burly hand, 
waved goodbye to Italy.
“Momma will come in May, you’ll see!”

and as they sailed that fateful day
the clanging of a buoy bell
mist and terns off the starboard bow
passing now as they make way
toward the lamp beside the golden door.


About toritto

I was born during year four of the reign of Emperor Tiberius Claudius on the outskirts of the empire in Brooklyn. I married my high school sweetheart, the girl I took to the prom and we were together for forty years until her passing in 2004. We had four kids together and buried two together. I had a successful career in Corporate America (never got rich but made a living) and traveled the world. I am currently retired in the Tampa Bay metro area and live alone. One of my daughters is close by and one within a morning’s drive. They call their pops everyday. I try to write poetry (not very well), and about family. Occasionally I will try a historical piece relating to politics. :-)
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2 Responses to Prinzess Irene – Poem #117

  1. beetleypete says:

    I have long admired the spirit and courage of economic migrants. It takes a big character to leave your home for an uncertain future in a strange and forbidding land. Well done to them.
    More than I could ever imagine doing, that’s for sure.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

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