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Hardy, great as he was, did not break away from awkward posturings and rhetorical inversions, as when in "The Convergence of the Twain" fish contemplate the sunken hulk of the Titanic and ask the unlikely question, "What does all this vaingloriousness down here?" But Robinson chose to write in a spoken language with neither mannerisms nor ostentation, laying his words out straight, as they might fall from human lips.
In "Lapis Lazuli," another poem of connection to Yeats', Mahon's use of slant rhyme deflates the tall order of certain words, returns us to the importance of literary creation as a way to resist or counteract what Thomas Hardy in "Convergence of the Twain" perceived as the dangerous "vaingloriousness" of man: While the planes that consume deserts of gasoline darken the sun in another rapacious war a young woman reads alone in a lighted train, scratches her scalp and shoves specs in her hair, skipping the obvious for the rich and rare.
This one prop, whose cost thus ballooned from the initially budgeted $15,000 to over $150,000, became a media symbol of the bloated vaingloriousness of Cimino's enterprise.