The World Is Too Much with Us Questions and Answers
by William Wordsworth

Start Your Free Trial

Please explain these lines from "The World Is Too Much With Us": The winds that will be howling at all hours, And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers; For this, for every thing, we are out of tune;

Expert Answers info

William Delaney eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2011

write5,416 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

The speaker appears to be standing by himself looking out at the ocean. The line preceding the three you have quoted should also be included in this explication.

This sea that bears her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are upgathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune.

The sea and the winds are two aspects of nature which the speaker claims we can no longer see or appreciate because we have gotten so involved in getting and spending: making money and buying things, and then needing to make more money to buy more things. 

Notice how Wordsworth uses alliteration to highlight the image of the winds. There are echoing OW sounds in "howling" and "hours," and there are three W sounds in the same line in "winds," "will," and "howling." The winds are not blowing at present, so they seem to him to be gathered in a bundle like sleeping flowers.

Since he is standing in a place...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 504 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Jason Lulos eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write3,306 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Science

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial