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Lines on the loss of the Titanic

Published on 09/02/14

The Convergence of the Twain. Lines on the loss of the Titanic by Thomas Hardy and illustrated by students.

Year 11 (10th grade) study the poetry of Thomas Hardy as part of their English literature IGCSE course. They were asked to illustrate the images to Hardy’s The Convergence of the Twain (1915), a poem on the loss of the Titanic in 1912. The creative work served as an excellent inspiration to the critical analysis of the poem. This then led to some very sophisticated discussion on how imagery made meaning.

The artwork and video was created by Niamh Thompson, Anya Jhoti and Nicole Sowa. An accompanying worksheet was made by Valeriya Kopanitsa and Shanshan Yao.

The Convergence of the Twain

(Lines on the loss of the "Titanic")

I

In a solitude of the sea

Deep from human vanity,

And the Pride of Life that planned her, stilly couches she.

II

Steel chambers, late the pyres

Of her salamandrine fires,

Cold currents thrid, and turn to rhythmic tidal lyres.

III

Over the mirrors meant

To glass the opulent

The sea-worm crawls -- grotesque, slimed, dumb, indifferent.

IV

Jewels in joy designed

To ravish the sensuous mind

Lie lightless, all their sparkles bleared and black and blind.

V

Dim moon-eyed fishes near

Gaze at the gilded gear

And query: "What does this vaingloriousness down here?" ...

VI

Well: while was fashioning

This creature of cleaving wing,

The Immanent Will that stirs and urges everything

VII

Prepared a sinister mate

her -- so gaily great --

Shape of Ice, for the time far and dissociate.

IX

Alien they seemed to be;

No mortal eye could see

The intimate welding of their later history,

X

Or sign that they were bent

By paths coincident

On being anon twin halves of one august event,

XI

Till the Spinner of the Years

Said "Now!" And each one hears,

And consummation comes, and jars two hemispheres.