Yale Class of 1975

Poetry Project, Week 7

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 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 wreathed horn.

— William Wordsworth

Lisa Kaslow: I love this project. I would like to submit a poem by Wordsworth that my mother, Shirley Kaslow, would recite to me each time she would drive to our farm. She passed away on January 24 at 99 years 7 months and a day. When the hospice nurse came to interview her to see if she qualified for care, Mom recited this poem as if an actress in a Shakespearean drama. She refused to give her age or answer probing questions about her health. Mom was an oracle and had a poem or a song for everyone, every event and every occasion. I told her about this project as she was wasting away, and she perked up and smiled at the fact that you were gathering poetry that meant so much to each of us.