The World Is Too Much with Us by William Wordsworth

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In "The World is Too Much with Us," what is too much with us?

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“Late” refers to the most recent past and the present. “Soon” is the future. Wordsworth’s theme or warning here is that in recent and future times, it seems that humans have lost touch with nature and therefore, have lost a sense of their sensitivity and the spiritual world because they are preoccupied with material things.

But I understand that the first line/title can seem ambiguous. Wordsworth is making a clear distinction between the industrialized, material society and nature. “World” can mean the Earth itself or the social life we live.

In my interpretation, in this poem, “world” means that social, material life. And Nature would be the Earth and organic life. So, what does it mean to say that the “world” is too much with us? This way of speaking is not as common today. But you may hear phrases like “It’s always got to be so dramatic with you.” This means that you create and sustain dramatic situations. Comparatively, we (us) make too much of the world....

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