The world is too much with us is a sonnet by the Lovian poet Yuri Medvedev. In it, Medvedev criticizes the modern world for being absorbed in materialism and distancing itself from nature. Composed in 2002, the poem was first published in two volumes, but later on these two where put together in one book. Like most Lovian sonnets, its 14 lines are written in iambic pentameter.
Theme and style Edit
In the early 2000s, Medvedev wrote several sonnets blasting what he perceived as "the decadent material cynicism of the time." The world is too much with us is one of those works. It reflects his philosophy that humanity must leave materialism in order to progress.
The title and first line, "The world is too much with us", expresses Medvedev's belief that his contemporaries were too absorbed in material things. The material world, he suggests, is always foremost in our minds. In the poem, Medvedev states that his contemporaries are preoccupied with "getting and spending," to which pursuits we have "given our hearts." Further, "we are out of tune" with nature; we do not appreciate the beautiful sea, which "bares her bosom to the moon," or the howling winds that "are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers." In short, natural aesthetics "move us not."
The sonnet Edit
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!
The 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.