"The World Is Too Much with Us" … a poem by William Wordsworth … read by Alice B. Clagett

Revised; originally published no 17 March 2014

Dear Ones,

Here’s a poem about escaping the humdrum of the day to day and enjoying the beauty of Nature and the wonders of our imagination. The text of the poem is in the Summary that follows the video …

VIDEO BY ALICE

SUMMARY OF THE VIDEO

Dear Ones,

When I woke up this morning, suddenly popped into my mind a poem that I learned when I was young. And I remember my Latin teacher in high school. I remember her very well, because she carried a little stick, or wand, with her. And she would swish it through the air, when we said something that she didn’t like. And she would rap it on the desk, if she really didn’t like it. And she always made me think: Maybe she’ll hit me too! [laughs] … although that was probably against the school rules. [laughs]

So anyway, one of the things she did, besides teaching us Latin, was to teach us this particular poem. She felt it was so important to us, that she made us memorize it, and then recite it, every time we came to class.

These days I don’t totally remember it, but I do remember how important it is. It’s a poem by William Wordsworth … a very short poem … and it’s about how we can get caught up in the day to day … the everyday routine of our lives … and what we want to get, and what we want to have … and what we want to do. And how these activities … like mental activities … like kind of a cage we get ourselves into … can prevent us from seeing the immense beauty of the natural world.

I’m not so good I can recite it by memory, so I’m going to read it off the internet. And maybe you can read it in my eyeglasses too [laughs], because it’s reflected there. It has some big words in it … for those of you that are younger. So here goes …

“The World Is Too Much With Us” 
by 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 wreathèd horn.”

…….

In love, light and joy,
I Am of the Stars

DEFINITIONS

boon … blessing, gift
bosom … chest
upgathered now … right now, the winds have quieted down
suckled in a creed outworn … brought up in a Pagan religion
lea
… grassy, open area
Proteus … Greek mythology: god of rivers and oceans
Triton … Greek mythology: messenger of the waves and also of calm seas

…………………..

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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natural beauty, The World Is Too Much With Us, William Wordsworth, imagination, poems, English poetry, nature,

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