Is It Just Me, or that “The World Is too Much with Us?”

william-wordsworth

I woke up at two a.m. this morning with this well-known masterpiece by the incomparable English bard Wordsworth coiling through my mind.

This sonnet was penned in Britain just as the Industrial Revolution was upending the trusted old courtesies and mores, and wreaking widespread damage in English cities and the countryside. It seems incredibly current and timely today. Amazing, because no one in the eighteenth or nineteenth century could have anticipated the incipient mess could have swollen to the size and seriousness confronting us today.

“The World Is Too Much With Us”
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

About Margaret Jean Langstaff

A lifelong critical reader with literary tastes, a novelist, short story writer, essayist, book critic, and professional book editor for many years. A consultant to publishers and authors, providing manuscript critiques and a full range of editorial services. A friend and supporter of all other readers and writers. A collector of signed modern first editions. Animal lover and tree hugger.
This entry was posted in Literary Classics, Literature, poetry, poets and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Is It Just Me, or that “The World Is too Much with Us?”

  1. sherloque says:

    Very appropriate indeed! isn’t it the story of mankind though? I remember my grandparents and people of their generation complaining that the old niceties and courtesies were gone. We have come a long way form hunters and gatherers. Where to now?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. dgkaye says:

    Funny how we can look back at old sage ones from the past as though they were writing for a future time. Even Orwell’s 1984 is garnering a lot of interest and comparison to modern times. Frightening times indeed. 🙂

    Like

  3. Jeff Japp says:

    Great poem! Love the English romantics. I actually wrote about this one some years back. Here’s the link, in case you’re interested. Cheers!

    https://stuffjeffreads.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/the-world-is-too-much-with-us-late-and-soon-by-william-wordsworth/

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Glynis Jolly says:

    The mess certainly has grown way out of all proportion. I love having a computer but I do think I’d do what I do if all I had was pen and paper.

    Liked by 1 person

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