An explication of the poem “The World Is Too Much With Us” by William Wordsworth.
William Wordsworth's poem "The World is Too Much With Us" is one of the many excellent sonnets he wrote in the early 1800s. It is a Petrarchan sonnet consisting of an octave (the first eight lines of the poem) that proposes a question followed by a sestet (the final six lines) that answers comments upon or criticizes.
The subject of the poem is expressed in the opening words, "The world is too much with us, late or soon." The poem is about the conflict between nature and humanity. Angrily, the poet accuses the modern age of losing its connection to nature and to everything meaningful. Man no longer appreciates nature and instead he exploits it for his own material gain. As a result, we are "out of tune" with nature. This relatively simple poem states that humans are too preoccupied with the material "Getting and spending" and they have lost touch with the spiritual. Hence, this will not help people in life, "It moves us not."
In the sestet, the poet proposes an impossible personal solution to his problem; he wishes he could have been raised as a pagan. So, he could still see ancient gods in the actions of nature and thereby gain spiritual solace. He is willing to give up all the comforts and benefits of modern civilization to live like a pagan. He imagines "Proteus rising from the sea" and "Triton blow his wreathed horn." Not only does Triton notify humans of their exploitation of nature, he will also "blow his wreathed horn," declaring a new beginning. This peaceful seaside image would cheer the speaker greatly.
Wordsworth expresses his views of the world. With his passion for nature, the poet disapproves the modern civilization. The ...