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The World is Too Much with Us | 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.

The World Is Too Much With Us | Important Points to Remember

👉 The poem is a sonnet (14 lines).

👉 The poem is a Petrarchan sonnet.

👉 The poem follows ABBA ABBA rhyme pattern in the octave and CDCDCD rhyme scheme in the sestet.

👉 The poem is written in iambic pentameter.

👉 The Gods mentioned in the Poem are Proteus and Triton.

👉 The poem compares the wind to sleeping flowers.

👉 “Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers” – the line suggests that we are concerned with materials.

👉 The speaker wishes to have a pagan background.

👉 The sea gives her bosom to the moon.

👉 The poem criticizes the world of the first industrial revolution.

👉 Sea-god Proteus can assume different shapes.

👉 Triton blows his conch in order to calm the waves.

👉 The three aspects of Nature which tend to charm man are- the moon, the sea and the winds.

The World Is Too Much With Us | Literary Devices

“The world is too much with us.”- Alliteration

“Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn.”- Enjambment

“sea that bears her bosom to the moon”; “The winds that will be howling at all hours” and “sleeping flowers.”- Personification

“Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.”- Allusion

“Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea”(s sound) ;  “For this, for everything, we are out of tune.”( f and t sound) – Consonance

“And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;” – Simile

“Suckle in a creed outworn.” –Metaphor. Here creed represents mother that nurses her child.

“We have given our hearts away.”- Metaphor.

 “Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn”. (O sound)- Assonance

“the winds that will be howling at all hours”- Assonance

“Sordid boon”- Oxymoron

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