“Even the art of appreciating poetry and literature is being lost in today’s modern world of text languages such “lol”, “ROFL” and so on, said P’s neighbour.
“OMG! Was he remarking on my language use?”wondered P.
The discussion with his neighbour had been about how people were too busy these days to appreciate the world around them and how important it was to get disconnected sometimes. The neighbour said that all these sentiments were best reflected in the poem “The world is too much with us; late and soon” by Wordsworth.
P nodded his head and agreed, though, he had never read or heard of the poem before.
The first thing he did as he came back indoors was to google and find the poem. He then read it a few times.
Initially, P did not understand half of what the words meant. However, as he read the poem over and over, he started to understand parts of it and like it.
For example, the first words read: “The world is too much with us;”
P couldn’t agree more! “Of course the world is too much with the United States!”
Even great poets like Wordsworth were prone to typos as the ‘u ‘and the ‘s’ were not in capitals, he observed.
As for “late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers”
P understood that the poet was talking about today’s energy crisis and how the salaries we were getting and spending were mostly being wasted on power bills.
P wholeheartedly agreed with the line, “Little we see in Nature that is ours”, as he read the line and looked out through the windows at the nearby skyscrapers and sighed. Not a single flat in those buildings was his. He would have loved to own a condo or an apartment in one of them but his finances were not up to scratch.
He could not make any sense of the line that followed: “We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!”. He mulled on it for a few minutes and guessed that it was something to do with heart transplants, though he could not understand why the poet should talk about that subject just out of the blue like that. “The poet’s liberty”, P shrugged and moved on.
He then came to the part about the sea, the moon and the winds.
He sniggered at the comparison of winds and sleeping flowers! With P, things couldn’t be more contrary when he remembered all his sleepless nights when he had had too spicy a dinner and had felt bloated.
As for the last few lines of the poem, he clearly understood that the poet was writing about a guy named Proteus taking a swim in the sea while another guy, may be a lifeguard, called Triton sat on the shore.
Triton, the lifeguard, blew through a horn instead of a whistle when Proteus swam too far out into dangerous waters and Proteus had to come back out of the sea.
“Why would the lifeguard use a horn rather than a whistle?” P kept asking himself.
“Poetic liberty again”, he guessed.
Yawning, he turned on the TV and sat down to watch his favourite channel, lifetime movies.