"The World is Too Much With Us", by William Wordsworth, is a traditional sonnet written in Italian form. The poem was written during England's Romantic Age at the height of the Industrial Revolution. Wordsworth deals with the common themes of the Romantic Age in this poem such as love of nature and belief in the common man.
In the octave, Wordsworth opens explaining his frustration with his peers. He is angered that they take for granted the powers that God has instilled in them and the lack of appreciation for the beauty surrounding them in nature: "Getting and spending, we lay waste away our powers" (Line 2). Wordsworth then writes that his people have given away their hearts, and in doing so have lost their appreciation for nature.
The sestet in this poem differs in this poem from that of any other sonnet. Instead of starting on the ninth line it begins on the tenth.
This way of literary rebellion is done by Wordsworth to show his defiance to follow the ways of other writers and to show his individuality. At the beginning of the sestet the writer asks God to be transformed in to something else, anything that will disassociate with those who cannot understand the splendor of the world that God has given to them. In the ninth and tenth lines he asks to be transformed into a Pagan (someone who worships nature as opposed to a God), "... I'd rather be/ A Pagan suckled in a creed of outworn;" (Lines 9-10). He feels by doing this he will form a stronger personal relationship with his natural surroundings, "Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea/ Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn." (Lines 13-14).
"The World is Too Much With Us" is...