Poetry Friday: The world is too much with us…

October 3rd, 2008

Our first Poetry Friday pick comes from one of our Stenhouse editors, Bill Varner.
The following sonnet from William Wordsworth has always been a favorite of mine, especially the first two lines. After this crazy week with the markets and economy, I thought of it again. It makes me think of  a lot of things, from Gordon Gecko’s distasteful mantra “greed is good” in the movie Wall Street to the simple joy of bodysurfing with my children on the Maine coast in late August.

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!
The 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.

Entry Filed under: Poetry Friday

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. cloudscome  |  October 3rd, 2008 at 9:35 am

    This is one of the poems that stuck with me the first time I heard it. I just love the first three lines. I think this poem has guided my choices in life from college to the present. Thanks for sharing it here.

  • 2. TadMack  |  October 3rd, 2008 at 10:51 am

    I love this poem — one of my very, very favorite of all times. I always hear my high school English teacher reading it aloud, and remember how we struggled to understand.

    The older I get, the more it comes clearly. Here’s to less greed and more bodysurfing.

  • 3. Poetry Friday Roundup &la&hellip  |  October 3rd, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    […] Bill at Stenhouse brought us a Wadsworth Poem about body surfing in Maine. […]

  • 4. Mary Lee  |  October 4th, 2008 at 6:10 am

    Great pick, Bill! For sure it speaks to the crazy week on Wall Street, but also to the hectic pace of school in October which makes me ache for simplicity and for more time to be out in Nature, enjoying Fall.

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