“The World Is Too Much With Us” — William Wordsworth

The last several months have been a challenge to our abilities to verbalize and speak clearly and coherently. Many resorted to ineffectual ranting and raving. Some simply gagged and swallowed their tongues.

I myself fell silent before the onslaught of unsavory and apparently alarming national events, confining my anger and outrage to my own mind.

At any rate, times like this–I don’t know ’bout you–but I fall back on the great poets. They are our cultural treasury and storehouse of the wisdom of the ages and they codify and communicate what we need to know in the most beautiful and memorable way.

One particular poem by one of the giants of modern poetry has been haunting me as I watched and read the news. I’m finally going to get it off my chest (out of my head) and share it here.

I hope this will loosen my tongue, unchain my words and enable me to write regularly here again. If you need explanation and exegesis of this work of genius, you will find plenty online.

‘pity this busy monster, manunkind’

e.e. cummings

pity this busy monster, manunkind,

not. Progress is a comfortable disease:
your victim (death and life safely beyond)

plays with the bigness of his littleness
--- electrons deify one razorblade
into a mountainrange; lenses extend
unwish through curving wherewhen till unwish
returns on its unself.
                          A world of made
is not a world of born --- pity poor flesh

and trees, poor stars and stones, but never this
fine specimen of hypermagical

ultraomnipotence. We doctors know

a hopeless case if --- listen: there's a hell
of a good universe next door; let's go

E. E. Cummings

About Margaret Jean Langstaff

A lifelong critical reader with literary tastes, a novelist, short story writer, essayist, book critic, and professional book editor for many years. A consultant to publishers and authors, providing manuscript critiques and a full range of editorial services. A friend and supporter of all other readers and writers. A collector of signed modern first editions. Animal lover and tree hugger. Follow me on Twitter @LangstaffEditor
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4 Responses to “The World Is Too Much With Us” — William Wordsworth

  1. trentpmcd says:

    The world has lost its coherency. I hope posting this great poem does loosen your virtual tongue.


  2. dgkaye says:

    I hear you on all counts Margaret. Nice to see you pop by. It’s like so many of us are living in a cocoon waiting til it’s safe to come out. My book writing has suffered badly this year due to my short attention span, waiting for the next disaster. I find myself reading much more than wanting to write. And I’ve become quite vocal on social media for women’s movements and posting to inform. We’re so close now to the babysitters coming in November. Let us pray the bluewave becomes a tsunami. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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