That Frigid Black Sea

That Frigid Black Sea

A Poem by Mark

Inspired by "Titanic", a song by David Olney, heard on a broadcast of National Public Radio's "The Art of the Song", this last Saturday night...


You got up in my face,

I got under your skin....


You invaded my space,

Where no-one'd ever been.


I seemed frigid and pure

As I to your heart slipped


But in fact was unsure

Why my cold your soul ripped.

So, there could never be

Such a thing as a "We"

For you are quite you,

and I am just me.


Next time we might try

Just to sail swiftly by

Not to merge, you and I,

'Neath the cold, empty sky....


 On the frigid, black sea



From Hibernian shore

You pushed back, last week


They all said you were more;

They all thought you unique


You bought into their fiction--

They nor you had a fear


Convinced you were perfection

'Til to me you drew near.


So, I'll rip you asunder,

Mid your roars and your thunder

Too late, you see your blunder;

In your death throes, you wonder


If, next time, we could try

Just to slide safely by,

Not to meet, you and I

'Neath that cold empty sky...


As you slip swiftly under


That frigid, black sea!





© 2010 Mark

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Author's Note

The song which inspired this poem dealt purely with that night in 1912 when the ship that was said to be unsinkable sank on her maiden voyage. This is less about that event than oher incursions more current to most of our lives. Also, just learned that, although she was BUILT in Ireland (from Hibernian shore), she actually sailed from Southhampton, so I may need to re-wprk that stanza.

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I really, really love this! I've had a thing for the Titanic ever since I was very young, so anything that inspires a lonesome image such as a frigid black sea is wonderful to me. I love the mirroring of that devastation to that similar one of a personal life. The things that could never be. I found that your rhythm in this was perfection and I kept lolling on and on with it, almost as though with a current. It mimicked the sea itself very well. While it may not be technically correct, I did enjoy the bit about the "Hibernian shore". Something about it, to me, echoed a bit of Poe, and anything that echoes him is amazing in my book. It adds an air of mysticism to the poem, a bit of mystery much like how one might wonder whether there wasn't a deity at hand in that tragedy.
Great poem!

Posted 10 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


I'm not familiar with the song, but I like what you've written. I've never read the thoughts of an iceberg before, so that's certainly unique. Well, we all know that man's grandest ideas aren't always so grand. Even the great pyramids are eroding away. You just can't stop nature.

Posted 10 Years Ago

This is deep and seems somewhat melancholy. I agree with Linda Marie's review with one slight difference, where she listed: "heartbreak, remorse, anger, hurt, rejection", I can't help but wonder if rejection is the right emotion or perhaps a fear of rejection flowing through that frigid black sea. But, either way, this stirs the emotions and mind just as all good poetry does.

Posted 10 Years Ago

There's a distinct rolling meter to your words. It's a sad, poignant piece, there's a longing for someone but more than that is kept close to your chest. 'So, there could never be ~ Such a thing as a "We" ~ For you are quite you, ~ and I am just me.'

I truly like the way you've companioned that 'you' with the ship .. the coming and going, ships that pass in the night, travelling through storms, only to disappear, until, perhaps another life.

Posted 10 Years Ago

I like this one - the rhyme scheme is very good but it is so much a "tale to be told' feeling as well.... you can nearly feel the ship pitching.... the dark and the murky cold.... We all seem to know a bit about the story (even before the movie) as it was an amazing disaster. Irish flavor in the storytellin....

Posted 10 Years Ago

Hmmm ... while Titanic may have been the inspiration, I detect a bit more of personal influences here: heartbreak, remorse, anger, hurt, rejection. All of these emotions seem to rise to the surface from the murky depths of this poem. They say that still waters run deep ... I think that applies to this poem.

It's beautiful in its depth and intensity but also very sad.

Linda Marie

Posted 10 Years Ago

I like the "frigid black sea" related to this theme. There are many suggestions of large influences here, personal, mythological, time and mortality. Without mentioning though it could apply to many sea faring voyage tragedies, not only the Titanic. But maybe that's the point. I think your last two stanza's are the strongest.
This strikes me as a ballade or ode, yet thematically goes beyond that. Interesting beginning and climatic ending. Nice piece.

Posted 10 Years Ago

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28 Reviews
Shelved in 2 Libraries
Added on October 25, 2010
Last Updated on October 25, 2010



Las Vegas, NV

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