Poetry has always been a powerful way of communicating society s feelings, concerns, and discomforts without directly stating their inspiration. A good example of such poetry is William Wordsworth s The world is too much with us . This poem expresses concern and disgust for the shameless destruction of our environment and society s indifference towards it. It is poems like this one that can not be overlooked even as time goes by, since they can still be learned from, due to the powerful wisdom they contain.
There is a verse in the poem that states the fact that we are out of tune with this world, which is a great analogy to describe the destructive pace of the urbanization process. Even though by the time this poem was being written the human expansionism was not as pronounced as it is today, there were many reasons why Wordsworth could feel impelled to write such verses. West migration and the quest for gold were the main driving factors that caused the necessity of having more and more reliable means of transportation. It was this thirst for glory, riches and power that started a nature devastating chain of events that had to be documented, not only to express the author s feelings, but to try to convey a sense of urgency and warning for generations yet to come. Wordsworth was keen enough to discern how these improvements were going to benefit society, but not without taking a high toll on the environment. This is reflected on how getting and spending, we lay waste our powers ; the way humans today blindly and selfishly seek personal fulfillment without taking into account who or what gets in the way.
Oil drilling, deforestation, soil depletion, and the various types of pollution all these abuses of our environment bring riches to a few, but misery to countless others. Wordsworth says little we see in nature that is ours , yet we do not think twice before taking anything nature has to offer for our advantage. However, the price must still be paid, and as time goes by, its importance becomes undeniable, and humans themselves will be held responsible for their self destruction. Wordsworth is dismayed as he contemplates human indifference, and after describing the power of the sun, the moon and the wind, he sadly states: It moves us not . It is undeniably discouraging to contemplate how fast this, our Earth, is becoming unlivable, and yet how fast humans are willing to conquer a different planet through space exploration. It may be the only way to save their souls, but all the money, time and attention dedicated to such exploration could be directed to improving the planet they already live in.
It is clear why Wordsworth felt he had to speak somehow to express the frustration he felt as he witnessed the historical advances that were taking nature s beauty away from us. It is not clear, though, how today, even with all the informational resources humans have access to, how education has taught them about the damage they are causing to their own unique and irreplaceable environment, how everyone understands and acknowledges the problem they face, and yet few are the ones that take action to counter its devastating results. It is not surprising why Wordsworth prefers to be a Pagan over contemplating earth s destruction, but unwilling to ignore the problem, writes this poem, so he can at least let other people know about why he feels this way, and why something must be done, and must be done soon.