“The World Is Too Much With Us” … WORDSWORTH
Ever since I studied William Wordsworth, (1770-1830), in college I have been haunted by the first 4 lines of this poem written by him in 1807:
“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 !”
Wordsworth was 37 when he wrote these lines. He was to become England’s poet laureate in 1843 and is often credited with being the greatest nature poet in the world. It fascinates me that his words ring so true to our world situation today.
This makes me ponder. Should I take a positive or a negative attitude to what he’s written? On the one hand I can say that nothing has changed in the last 200 years and isn’t that a sad state of affairs. That would be the negative view.
However, I could turn that around and feel comforted by the fact that everything remains unchanged & there’s nothing I can do about it. That would be a somewhat positive reaction.
I guess it really doesn’t matter in the long run. For my taste the world IS “too much with us” and I have to fight that every day. I don’t want to “lay waste my Powers” and I need to constantly remind myself that all the “getting and spending” can’t give me what I can acquire for free from a long walk in the woods or along a shore line.
William Wordsworth gave me a gift of this lovely poem. It will be my tribute to him to accept it and live by it.