Learn More

William Wordsworth

(1770-1850 / Cumberland / England)

The world is too much with us; late and soon


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.

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002
Edited: Monday, January 02, 2012

Do you like this poem?
40 person liked.
25 person did not like.

What do you think this poem is about?



Read poems about / on: sea, nature, moon, god, world, howl, flower, power, rose, sleep, wind

Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Comments about this poem (The world is too much with us; late and soon by William Wordsworth )

Enter the verification code :

  • Rookie Dorothy Dougherty (9/25/2013 7:42:00 AM)

    So many years ago a high school English teacher asked her students to commit a poem to memory. She suggested at sometime in our future we may go back to this poem hoping we would have more understanding or perhaps just enjoy the memory. I never forgot the first two lines which in today's world are much more poignant.
    Every time I hear of a friend drop off the electrical grid or see folks standing in line to buy the next great piece of technology I think of these lines and say, Thanks Mrs. Johnson. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Marisa Campagna (2/25/2012 12:49:00 PM)

    The elements used to identify the Romantic poetry is the nature quality. The rhyme scheme is ABBAABBA. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Andrew Hoellering (8/10/2009 11:48:00 AM)

    ‘Getting and spending we lay waste our powers’ is one of those lines that is impossible to forget, as is ‘For this, for everything we are out of tune.’
    Wordsworth is referring to nature –see also his poem beginning ‘Earth hath not anything to show more fair’, which describes his own full-hearted joyous response to an early morning view of London.
    The present sonnet asks why others are unable to share his all-consuming passion for natural beauty. His answer is that we expend all our energies on those ultimately meaningless routines necessary for making a living, and for this we pay a heavy price -‘It (nature) moves us not’.
    The reference to our Greek heritage is brilliant as it links past and present.
    We must get our priorities right if we are to satisfactorily answer the ultimate devastating question, ‘ And what did you do with your life? ’ (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Michael Vinning (1/26/2007 4:55:00 AM)

    A good friend of mine in Brooklyn recommended I read this poem; it seems he knows me better than I thought, I'll never tell though! My days spent inside, alas, the bread must be won! My afternoons/evenings/nights....spent at the helm of this maddening technology....when will I ever stop and smell the roses....when will ever stop and lay eyes upon such a gem? ? Never...tomorrow? ? ...Today! ! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • Rookie Daphne Grant (3/20/2006 4:09:00 PM)

    This is so true today, so much time watching TV is stolen time, there is no time to stand and stare. (Report) Reply

Read all 8 comments »

New Poems

  1. Monday to Friday, Charlotte Cassanell
  2. Moner pakhi, ramesh rai
  3. Little White Angels, Kelly Zion
  4. A Plantation Triangle, Birgitta Heikka
  5. In With The Crowd, Denis Martindale
  6. To induct harmony, hasmukh amathalal
  7. Life and Love, Sandra Feldman
  8. Questioning Anyway, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
  9. Is it me?, Joe Rosochacki
  10. Turn violent, hasmukh amathalal

Poem of the Day

poet Percy Bysshe Shelley

Men of England, wherefore plough
For the lords who lay ye low?
Wherefore weave with toil and care
The rich robes your tyrants wear?

Wherefore feed and clothe and save,
...... Read complete »

 

Modern Poem

poet Audre Lorde

 

Member Poem

Trending Poems

  1. 04 Tongues Made Of Glass, Shaun Shane
  2. Still I Rise, Maya Angelou
  3. Trees, Joyce Kilmer
  4. Richard Cory, Edwin Arlington Robinson
  5. The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost
  6. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas
  7. Dreams, Langston Hughes
  8. If You Forget Me, Pablo Neruda
  9. If, Rudyard Kipling
  10. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou

Trending Poets

[Hata Bildir]