Sunday, December 07, 2008

The World IS Too Much with Us

Did you see the astronomical event involving the moon, Jupiter, and Venus last weekend? I happened to drive down to the local drive-in that evening for a Diet Dr Pepper (They have the best ice in the world!), and I noticed it in the sky coming home. Then I checked my e-mail and had one from my DD telling me to go look.

This week at school, I was doing my very best to make Wordsworth's sonnet, "The World Is Too Much with Us" relevant to high school seniors who are just wanting to get OUT for the Christmas holidays, OUT of high school altogether, and OUT to go watch the baskeetball tournament going on in the gym. The first part of the poem says:

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-gathered now like sleeping flowers,

For this, for everything, we are out of tune;

It moves us not.

We discussed the meaning of the word "world" as it applies to material things. We discussed the idea of people in an industrialized society working longer and longer hours. We talked about how spending the money we make to buy the things we need or want actually adds on to the length of the workday. Then I moved on to the part about being out of tune with nature. I asked how many had seen the planetary display. The response? "You mean that really happened? I got a forward about it, but who pays any attention to forwards? They're mostly spam!" Alas, I fear Wordsworth's point was made in a way he could not have envisioned 200 years ago. (Photo courtesy of my DD)

1 comment:

Deb said...

Terrific photo! And a great use of the astronomical event to make a point! I was really fortunate to be able to follow the event for a couple of evenings. Moonrise/planetrise coincided with my evening commute.