William Wordsworth

By: Addie Otterstetter

The World Is Too Much With Us

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.

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Biography of William Wordsworth

  • He was a Romantic Point
  • He was born in England on April 7, 1770
  • He died in England on April 23, 1850
  • He was good friends with Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • He became an orphan at the age of 13
  • He eventually studied at Cambridge University
  • He fell in love with Annette Vallon
  • He traveled to France in the middle of the French Revolution and was influenced by the radicals
  • He started in 1787 when he published a sonnet in The European Magazine
  • He was named England's poet laureate in 1843
Introduction to William Wordsworth

Meaning of The World is Too Much Wtih Us

1st Stanza: The speaker of the poem starts by explaining that that the world has so much to offer but we are so concerned about materialistic things that they end up taking all of our energy so we don't get to use that energy to experience more of the world. People want to continually just get and want more, so they can own those things. The speaker is saying essentially that we have sold ourselves in order to obtain our things rather than just let ourselves enjoy the free beauty of nature.

2nd Stanza: The speaker says that we should be able to witness the moon shining over the ocean and the different weather of nature and experience it with those we love. Instead, people see that opportunity and decline it because they have something more important to attend to with their items.

3rd Stanza: The speaker truly believes that he would rather worship in an old time religion so that when he looks at the ocean he could imagine their presence there. He would use that to influence his imagination into seeing what God's work has truly done and that's what so many people are missing out on because of the things they own and how much they are obsessed with them and wanting and owning even more than everything they already have.

Literary Devices in the Poem

Personification: He uses this to portray nature to be human and in this case very vulnerable and tired.

Examples: "The sea bares her bosom to the moon", "The wind howls at all hours", and "Sleeping flowers".

Allusions: He uses Greek Mythology to compare what he would believe in before he gave up looking at nature.

Examples: "Proteus rising from the sea", and "Triton blowing his wreathed horn".

Pocahontas - Colors of the Wind (Disney Song)

Works Cited

Campbell. "Poetic Devices Used in "The World Is Too Much With Us""Enotes.com.

Enotes.com, 12 Feb. 2009. Web. 17 Feb. 2016.

Franco, Pablo Z. "Colors of the Wind." YouTube. YouTube, 3 Jan. 2011. Web. 15 Feb. 2016.

Graham, Ruth. "The World Is Too Much With Us." Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, 2015. Web. 17 Feb. 2016.

"Interesting Facts about William Wordsworth." Interesting Literature. Interesting Literature, 07 Apr. 2015. Web. 17 Feb. 2016.

Lasseter, William. "Introduction to William Wordsworth." YouTube. YouTube, 8 July 2012. Web. 17 Feb. 2016.

"Overview: 'The World Is Too Much with Us'." Poetry for Students. Ed. Sara Constantakis. Vol.38. Detroit: Gale, 2011. Literature Resource Center. Web. 17 Feb. 2016.

Shmoop Editorial Team. "The World Is Too Much with Us Summary." Shmoop.com. Shmoop University, Inc., 11 Nov. 2008. Web. 12 Feb. 2016.