Tuesday, May 01, 2012

“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.

To my way of thinking 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 more than what the world has to offer for free … not the least being this wonderful poem from William Wordsworth. I will heed his words and try to live by them.

13 Comments:

Blogger Cazzie!!! said...

Apt timing for me to be reading this as I am going through my clothes cupboards and bagging lots to give away to charity. Getting and spending.. too right, money earned is spent before it hits the bank! Especially with four kidlings to raise.
But, I also thought about the getting and spending phrase in the way of time... time spent wasted.. you know. I just try to fit so much into every second of the day and yet, I feel guilty if I spend the time reading or something when I could be doing chores or something else.
Love your post Ginnie, and I do think of you often xoxoxo

5:59 PM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

Wonderfully put by you and Wordsworth. Most do waste and squander what has been given us.

3:37 AM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Were you really in college from 1770-1830? Kidding. You wrote it right.

4:31 AM  
Blogger possum said...

Funny how we seem to go thru periods in our lives when getting and spending is so important... then it no longer is... I wonder at the shift in our "needs" or supposed needs, how they change. And in my old age (a state of mind) I think of all I have wasted, yet what is wasted to one is not to another.
Life is such a mystery.
Thanks, Ginnie - and Wordsworth... something to think about as I unload another barn today.

6:13 AM  
Blogger Syd said...

Thanks for the reminder,Ginnie. I always liked this poem. He was from the wonderful Lake District where nature abounded.

8:33 AM  
Blogger ellen said...

I think of these words often as well. They certainly apply to the Here and Now.

9:39 AM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Words like these never go out of date and the meaning is just as appropriate today and perhaps more so.

7:11 PM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

Wise words indeed and never more appropriate than now.

7:58 AM  
Anonymous schmidleysscribblins,wordpress.com said...

I loved Wordsworth when I studied him, but these are the words of a young man. I have read he was much more cynical and pragmatic in later life. Nature is red in tooth and claw as we all discover sooner or later.

However, how can one not be in the world and yet part of nature? The world is wonderful, challenging and our home or at least it was before off-road vehicles were invented. I never get tired of the natural world, but I prefer a garden to a wilderness. I am a nature lover par excellence.

8:13 AM  
Blogger troutbirder said...

Perfect. Pretty much where my doing and thinking has ended now in the so-called "golden years" of retirement. And yes I love daffodils too.... :)

4:56 AM  
Blogger KGMom said...

I've always loved those opening lines. I confess, I was never fond of the Romantic poets, but every now and then, I come upon lines such as these, and rethink my aversion.

12:10 PM  
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