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Please explain the first 12 lines of the poem '' The World Is Too Much with Us; Late...

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rozh | Student, Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted May 5, 2013 at 11:13 PM via web

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Please explain the first 12 lines of the poem '' The World Is Too Much with Us; Late and Soon'' in detail?

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted May 6, 2013 at 12:15 AM (Answer #1)

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This poem is a signature piece for Romanticism – a plea to turn away from human enterprises, commerce (“Getting and spending”), materialism, etc., because it alienates us from, and weakens our connection to, Nature (“little we see in Nature that is ours”).  Wordsworth uses a metaphor “We have given our hearts away” to express the hidden cost of the coming technological age.  He then lists some natural phenomena – sea and moon and wind – and says we are “out of tune” with them.  He ends the poem in an emblematic reference to classic theology, representing natural phenomena – “Proteus” rising from the sea and “Triton” blowing his horn – stating his preference for the past as opposed to the present and future distancing of Nature from our modern lives.  As for its sonnet form, it uses an ABBAABBACDCDCD rhyme scheme, a sophisticated one with no forcing, to show the difference between natural rhythms and forced “modern” schemes.

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