The world is too much with us is an Italian sonnet composed by Wordsworth. The Italian sonnet is also known as the Petrarchan sonnet. Unlike Shakespearean sonnets, it has a rhyme scheme of abba, abba, cd cd cd. This poem questions the material stand of people against nature. Poet presents a different philosophy in which nature overwhelms human spirituality.
Poet mocks the developments which ruin nature. Poet strongly believes that industrialization will eventually break the bond between man and nature.
Poet writes that as we focus on material gains we forget to enjoy natural bliss given by the sea, the moon, the wind, and flowers. Poets quench to have the freedom to worship many gods. Paganism was prevalent in Greek culture and monotheistic believers never supported it.
Poet uses Paganism as a symbol of a traditional culture where the concept of God was closely associated with nature. Poet wishes to make a journey back to the ancient period when humans were more ecocentric. Poet feels that developments can spoil the real bond between man and nature.
Kuttippuram Bridge from Indian literature and The Mystic Drum from African literature also discuss the same theme. Shelly calls Wordsworth “poet of nature” and ” a worshipper of nature.” Wordsworth emphasized the inevitable role of nature in building spiritual and intellectual growth.
Read the poem below
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
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