The World Is Too Much with Us by William Wordsworth

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The World is too Much with Us William Wordsworth 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 wreathed horn. SUMMARY: The speaker complains that "the world" is too overwhelming for us to appreciate it. We're so concerned about time and money that we use up all our energy. People want to accumulate stuff, so they see nothing in Nature that they can "own." According to the speaker, we've sold our souls. We should be able to appreciate beautiful events like the moon shining over the ocean and the blowing of strong winds, but it's like we're on a different wavelength from Nature. We're kind of like, "Eh." The speaker would rather be a pagan who worships an outdated religion so that when he gazes out on the ocean (as he's doing now), he might feel less sad. If he were a pagan, he'd see wild mythological gods like Proteus, who can take many shapes, and Triton, who looks like a mer-man. Lines 1-2 The world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers. • The poem opens with a complaint, saying that the world is out of whack and that people are destroying themselves with consumerism ("getting and spending"). • "The world is too much with us" sounds odd, and could mean several things. It could mean that the world – life in the city, contemporary society – is just too

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