Close reading of “The World Is Too Much With Us” William Wordsworth was a great English Romantic poet whom helped launch the Romantic period of the 19th century. One of his famous works is titled “The World Is Too Much With Us. ” The first eight lines of the poem represent a type of poem called an octet. An octet is defined as an eight-line stanza. The next six lines represents a sestet or better identified as a six-line stanza. The entire poem represents an Italian sonnet made up of fourteen lines total. An Italian sonnet is sometimes called a Petrarch after a famous Italian poet. William Wordsworth gained most of his inspiration to write poetry based on the world around him. Communication with nature is the bases of “The World Is Too Much With Us. ” In the octet, the writer is expressing anger at the human population for being so preoccupied by materialistic things in the world and not focusing the attention on nature. The poem states, “getting and spending” describing human actions on buying things and spending more money than they should on materialistic things in the world. Also, this explains that instead of getting in touch with nature and the spiritual side of life, which is most important, humans have turned out to be selfish and just money oriented. The writer feels that people have given there hearts away from worrying about nature to things in the world that are not as important or as beautiful as the world surrounding them. In the poem, the word “sordid” means “filthy” and this truly expresses how filthy rich money will make you, but how filthy your mind will become at the same time. A few lines down the writer describe anger by using winds that are “howling at all hours. ” This is expressing that nature is always calling to humans and expressing how it has been treated by the sounds it makes. The winds would be calm and peaceful if the focus was on nature and not so acquisitive. In the sestet, the writer is expressing feelings to God about becoming a Pagan. Most people would never wish to be raised as a Pagan, but the writer feels so strongly about how nature is being mistreated he would rater become a Pagan than to deal with the terrible feelings he is feeling, and sights he is seeing. He hopes of seeing ancient gods through nature’s reactions to the world around him. If he was to see an ancient god and he refers to “Proteus” or “Triton” that would show hope to him of gaining spiritual solace. These allusions to these gods shows that he feels so strongly about nature and the world not being materialistic that he wishes for that power they posses, so he could fix the problem forever. “Proteus rising from the sea,” shows he feels that the oceans and waters surrounding the world are a striking feature of the earth, and that feature could be brought back to life if a materialistic society did not exist. The poem also alludes to “Triton” and how the sound of his horn could calm the world back down to the peaceful sounds of nature and the spirits filling the air with comfort. In conclusion, William Wordsworth has written an excellent piece of poetry about nature. Communicating with nature is important because nature and the spiritual side of life controls each day. This poem could truly make society realize how materialistic the world is, and how nature is most of the time completely ignored. Using forms of personification helps the reader allude to information they know to better understand the writer’s expressions. This Italian sonnet “The World Is Too Much With Us” explains society in a unique way.
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