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The World Is Too Much With Us
Posted by: Lindsay (
Date: December 12, 2004 12:09PM

I need help understanding William Wordsworth's poem "The World Is Too Much With Us." Any help would be greatly appreciated. It's for a comparative essay to Wordsworth's "My Heart Leaps Up."

Please help me!!!!!!!!

Re: The World Is Too Much With Us
Posted by: Just Jack (12.46.184.---)
Date: December 12, 2004 12:23PM


I believe Auntie Mame said it best:

"Life is a banquet, and most poor bastards are starving to death!"

John Denver said:

Blow up the TV
Throw away the paper
Move to the country
Build you a home

Plant a little garden
Eat a lotta peaches
Try to find Jesus
on yer own

A wise friend of mine said:

The only thing you get in life is time, and there's no guarantee of that.
Most folks SPEND their time chasing money. When they get all they can and the time is gone, they see they wasted it. The time, not the money.
I'd rather be a bare-assed ape eating a bug. I would spend my days making myself feel good, and die without regrets.

Just an opinion


Re: The World Is Too Much With Us
Posted by: StephenFryer (
Date: December 12, 2004 12:35PM

Strange, how there are some images you really do not want to invade your conscious mind but which, once introduced, will not leave.
Jack as a bare-assed ape, for example.


Re: The World Is Too Much With Us
Posted by: lg (
Date: December 12, 2004 01:44PM

Jack, some sound philosophy here:

(to) die without regrets.

Lindsay, just as today, Wordsworth was lamenting the fact that people have lost sight of what is important in life. The material things, things that money can buy, things made by man, seemed to him to be too important to us.

What he is saying in the poem is that we need to get back to nature, away from the cities, the shops, and the factories.

[] />


Post Edited (12-12-04 13:19)

Re: The World Is Too Much With Us
Posted by: Desi (
Date: December 12, 2004 03:45PM

Why does it seem that the only people (poets, writers, etc) encouraging people to go back to nature are city bred people? I have never heard a full time farmer say such a thing. Makes me wonder...

Re: The World Is Too Much With Us
Posted by: chuck (
Date: December 12, 2004 05:30PM

The world is too much with us, says a bard
To understand these words is hard
Much better had he said,to wit:
That we are not enough with it.

Re: The World Is Too Much With Us
Posted by: glenda (
Date: December 12, 2004 07:56PM

Right now, a bare-assed aped doesn't sound so bad. Desi, you have a point. Only people with the means to sit on the porch and watch the sunset instead of working up until it can appreciate the idea that "material things" are not so important.

Re: The World Is Too Much With Us
Posted by: IanB (
Date: December 12, 2004 11:50PM

Let's put the sonnet on view:

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.

Lindsay, which bits particularly are you having trouble understanding?


Re: The World Is Too Much With Us
Posted by: Hugh Clary (
Date: December 13, 2004 11:48AM

I'd rather be a bare-assed ape eating a bug.

Well, who wunt? The semicolon after 'with us' is interesting. It keeps us from hearing that the world is too much with us late and soon.

[] />

My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began,
So is it now I am a man,
So be it when I shall grow old
Or let me die!
The child is father of the man:
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.

Re: The World Is Too Much With Us
Posted by: Marian-NYC (
Date: December 13, 2004 05:16PM

For comparison, one could simply say:

I WISH my heart would still leap up when I behold a rainbow!

Re: The World Is Too Much With Us
Posted by: Pam Adams (
Date: December 22, 2004 04:51PM

I don't think it's Hugh's heart that's doing the leaping up.


Re: The World Is Too Much With Us
Posted by: hazel (
Date: February 04, 2005 03:07PM

i need understanding of the poem "the world is too much with us"
why did he wrote this poem?
what was his purpose?
what was his message?
what's the meaning of this poem?

Re: The World Is Too Much With Us
Posted by: Hugh Clary (
Date: February 06, 2005 01:09PM

Obviously springcherrytree is also too much, way too much, with us.

why did he wrote this poem?

He thought we were getting away from nature, wasting our important leisure time in the pursuit of worldly gains.

what was his purpose?

To make us consider being less money-grubbing and more nature loving.

what was his message?

He, for one, does not make this mistake but instead concentrates on enjoying the world of nature.

what's the meaning of this poem?

He would rather live in earlier days, when people understood the importance of the message he is communicating.

It has been noted that Wordsworth appears to be referencing these lines from Spenser's "Colin Clout's come Home againe":

270: We Lunday passe; by that same name is ment
An island, which the first to west was showne.
From thence another world of land we kend,
Floting amid the sea in jeopardie,
And round about with mightie white rocks hemd,
275: Against the seas encroching crueltie.
Those same, the shepheard told me, were the fields
In which dame Cynthia her landheards fed;
Faire goodly fields, then which Armulla yields
None fairer, nor more fruitfull to be red:
280: The first, to which we nigh approched, was
An high headland thrust far into the sea,
Like to an horne, whereof the name it has,
Yet seemed to be a goodly pleasant lea:
There did a loftie mount at first us greet,
285: Which did a stately heape of stones upreare,
That seemd amid the surges for to fleet,
Much greater then that frame, which us did beare;
There did our ship her fruitfull wombe unlade,


'These be the hills (quoth he) the surges hie,
On which faire Cynthia her heards doth feed:
Her heards be thousand fishes with their frie,
Which in the bosome of the billowes breed.
Of them the shepheard which hath charge in chief,
245: Is Triton, blowing loud his wreathed horne:
At sound whereof, they all for their relief
Wend too and fro at evening and at morne.
And Proteus eke with him does drive his heard
Of stinking Seales and Porcpisces together,
250: With hoary head and deawy dropping beard,
Compelling them which way he list, and whether.

Note also these lines from The Chambered Nautilus by Oliver Wendell Holmes:

Thanks for the heavenly message brought by thee,
Child of the wandering sea,
Cast from her lap, forlorn!
From thy dead lips a clearer note is born
Than ever Triton blew from wreathed horn;
While on mine ear it rings,
Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings:--

Triton is the son of Poseidon, and when he blows his horn, the 'blustering winds' will be calmed. Everyone knows that to always be true, right.

Re: The World Is Too Much With Us
Posted by: ani (
Date: March 13, 2005 10:12PM

it mean:

humainty is fixated with itself. all that we work and strive for is futile. he wrote to poem to point out our folly.

the poem declares that "he" woulr rather be a pagan to an old and antiquaited religon that had long out lived its value; all this in hope to find a new appreciation for nature and all that is good in the world.

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