Analysis of The Convergence of the Twain by Thomas Hardy

In this article, we are going to analysis the poem The Convergence of the Twain by Thomas Hardy.

The Convergence of the Twain Poem:

            In a solitude of the sea
            Deep from human vanity,
And the Pride of Life that planned her, stilly couches she.

            Steel chambers, late the pyres
            Of her salamandrine fires,
Cold currents thrid, and turn to rhythmic tidal lyres.

            Over the mirrors meant
            To glass the opulent
The sea-worm crawls — grotesque, slimed, dumb, indifferent.

            Jewels in joy designed
            To ravish the sensuous mind
Lie lightless, all their sparkles bleared and black and blind.

            Dim moon-eyed fishes near
            Gaze at the gilded gear
And query: "What does this vaingloriousness down here?" ...

            Well: while was fashioning
            This creature of cleaving wing,
The Immanent Will that stirs and urges everything

            Prepared a sinister mate
            For her — so gaily great —
A Shape of Ice, for the time far and dissociate.

            And as the smart ship grew
            In stature, grace, and hue,
In shadowy silent distance grew the Iceberg too.

            Alien they seemed to be;
            No mortal eye could see
The intimate welding of their later history,

            Or sign that they were bent
            By paths coincident
On being anon twin halves of one august event,

            Till the Spinner of the Years
            Said "Now!" And each one hears,
And consummation comes, and jars two hemispheres.

The Convergence of the Twain Analysis:

The Convergence of the Twain also depicts nature through a naturalistic lens. This poem is about the famous Titanic ship that collided with a giant iceberg and sank. Causing the death of fifteen hundred and three people over half the people aboard.

Tragically one lifeboat only held 28 people and could have held 64. The Titanic was not equipped with enough lifeboats because the ship's builders were convinced that the boat was unsinkable. Which we know in retrospect was foolish and untrue.

Nature is depicted as almost malicious in this poem. It is as if nature punishes humanity for their pride. The downfall of those who created and sailed the Titanic was vanity.

The first few lines refer to the salamander and fires. Since salamanders were believed to be able to withstand fire and still live. Thus this line suggests the unrealistic pride of the ship captain to believe its fires lights and electricity could never go out.

The poem shows nature's indifference to humanity through the sea worm that crawls all over the opulent jewels and riches at the bottom of the sea. With no regard or respect for their worth or value. Also, the fish in the poem can't comprehend the great loss of life and riches as they swim by the wrecked ship.

there is a contrast between lightness and darkness and hot and cold in the poem. With the iceberg being cold and dark and the Titanic being lighted and hot or alive until it sinks.


The word vainglorious in the poem is one of Hardy's invented words. Which shows the vanity of the people who lose at the hands of fate.

This poem is naturalistic in its message that fate controls our destiny by bringing the ship representing humanity's vain accomplishments in Pride. An iceberg representing nature into the fateful collision that represents the collision of humanity in nature in which nature wins and humanity loses.
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