Is the poem syntax conventional, or are words arranged in unexpected order?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The structure and syntax of Wordsworth is a bit on the unconventional side.  It seems as if the poem itself is a type of reflection and pensive understanding about the condition of human beings within the world.  It is not a straight narrative retelling of this condition.  Rather, it seems to be a musing where thoughts are punctuated and interrupted with another exploration of this thought.  For example, the opening line helps to establish this syntax:  "The world is too much with us; late and soon."  Notice the fragment after the semi colon hopes to develop the independent clause in the line, and in the process helps to open more doors of analysis.  There is little settled in it, but rather a thought is offered and another type of extrapolation is suggested.  We can see this repeated in lines 2, 4, and 8, amongst others.  In each setting, a thought is offered and an additional thought is posited and the purpose of this is to offer a countering image to what is presented.  This arrangement of words and ideas helps to layer the poem as a series of mental pictures, or images, that help to explore the theme of attempting to evade the grasp of conventional society in the expression of true emotions.

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