Every once in awhile, when I hear about someone teaching or studying literature, I feel a pang of nostalgia and remorse, all at once. It’s my one-that-got-away, my if-only. And as of late, I’ve found myself especially sensitive to the harshness of the world and its over-wrought media. So it’s only fitting that this poem, particularly the first line, has been resounding in my head quite a bit these past few weeks.
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. – Great God! I’d rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.
– William Wordsworth