Guest poem sent in by Mallika Chellappa
(Poem #1338) The World is Too Much With Us
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-gather'd 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 wreathèd horn.
I was reading Edna St Vincent Millay's Sonnets on Minstrels (lovely) and remembered this famous one. Wordsworth laboured his poems, but just one phrase makes this one worthwhile for me - a picture of the quiet winds over the ocean on a moonlit night. I studied in a Convent, and some of us giggled when the line "this Sea that bares her bosom to the moon" was read in class. Our English teacher - a nun - admonished us "You silly girls, don't you know a woman's bosom is one of the most beautiful of God's creations!" Beauty is Truth, and Truth is Beauty! I'm forever indebted to Sister Catherine. Mallika Chellappa [Martin adds] Like Mallika, I find this poem a trifle laboured, but the first line has an indefinable *something* to it. It stuck in my memory long after the rest of the poem had faded. The transition from the octet to the sestet is very well handled, too - not always the case in a sonnet, but noticeable when it does happen. martin