In this installment, Michelle Boisseau reads “The world is too much with us” by William Wordsworth. Boisseau was educated at Ohio University (B.A., M.A.) and the University of Houston (Ph.D.). Her books of poetry include Trembling Air (University of Arkansas Press, 2003); Understory, winner of the Morse Prize (Northeastern University Press, 1996); and No Private Life (Vanderbilt, 1990). She is also author of the popular text Writing Poems (Longman), in its 6th edition. Her poems have appeared in The Yale Review, Threepenny Review, The Gettysburg Review, The Southern Review, Shenandoah, Poetry, and Ploughshares. Her work has received a National Endowment for the Arts poetry fellowship and awards from the Poetry Society of America. She is a professor of English at the University of Missouri-Kansas City where she also is associate editor of BkMk Press and the coordinator of the Creative Writing program.
William Wordsworth, "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!
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.