Friday, November 10, 2006

“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.


Blogger Cuppa said...

Amen sister! Riches beyond words is a walk in the woods or a saunter along the shore. I too will unwrap this priceless gift and treasure it.

Thanks for the reminder this morning.I will meet you out on the path later this morning.

7:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God, I love your posts! The things of true life are in the details, the small moments.

Sobriety-related post over my way. :)


Thailand Gal

10:46 AM  
Blogger Pam said...

It is what nature gives us that is priceless and everlasting. I will be on that path in spirit.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

I'd like to see his woods and his daffodils someday.

(BTW that template of mine is a temporary Halloween thing -- althoguh sometimes temporary gets a little protracted. :)

6:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It always amazes me how little humans have changed. I don't understand every word of the poem, but I get the jist! For how many centuries have we been warned? The photo is gorgeous.

6:59 PM  
Blogger Mortart said...

I've never been very attentive to poetry. My wife was and still is, but she's not very attentive to computers and the Internet. So I showed her your blog.
She said she memorized this Wordsworth sonnet in high school and can still recite it. She feels it is a universal and eternal message on man's existence--unfortunately.
She recalls that she and her mother used to recite Wordsworth while doing the dishes when she was a kid. They especially loved his poem on the daffodils.
My wife was a high school English and Latin teacher and was always immersed in poetry. As for me, I guess I never had the time for poetry or was turned off by a teacher who lacked my wife's devotion to poetry.

7:23 PM  
Blogger Maya's Granny said...

What an absolutely perfect picture to accompany Wordsworth's poem. I love that sonnet very much, myself.

11:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ginnie
Thanks for that beautiful thought. My parents were both Emmersonians (spelling?). We didn't go to church, but we did get out into nature at every possible moment. I've thought about what you said in one post about a power greater than yourself. I truly accept nature as that power. A walk in the woods revivifies my spirit more than anything at Pier One or Smith and Hawkins could ever do.

7:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Yes! Thank you Ginnie. The woods are my cathedral, and I wholeheartedly agree with Wordsworth. It is sad that his words are still so topical, but so very beautiful...

Wonderful post.
Thank You x

1:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post, Ginnie. Amazing how profound his words are all these years later.
I guess the old saying, "The more things change, the more they stay the same" might apply.

6:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ginnie, I came across your blog this morning while looking for--believe it or not--the complete text of "The World is Too Much With Us." It is a beautiful, sunny spring morning where I live (Western NY) and the poem sprang to mind. I think you are a kindred spirit, and I look forward to reading your comments. Have a beautiful day.

6:29 AM  

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