Tuesday, January 26, 2010

“The World Is Too Much With Us”

Last week I was driving home as the sun was setting. The new moon was the slightest sliver cradling the old moon in its arms. The sun reflected in waves of pink and mauve off the clouds and I could dimly see white birds flying in the night sky. This poem came to mind:

The World is Too Much With Us
by William Wordsworth

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.--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 wreathèd horn.

One side effect of the decade I spent studying English poetry (most of my twenties) is that fragments of poetry or sometimes whole poems often come unbidden to my mind. I think that when they do I am being told something. Here, I think it was simply that I am too caught up in my work and the excitement of opening CityWalk. I am missing the great world going by while I concentrate too much on finances—on getting and spending.

For example, a bald eagle has been spotted at Sunset Bay (http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/012310dnmetsunsetbay.a39ece60.html) and the white pelicans have returned to White Rock Lake to winter over, but I haven’t been out to see either of them.

Soon they will be gone for another year and if I don’t want to miss them then I need to take at least a few hours to go look.

White pelicans are enormous, prehistoric-looking birds. I benefit, perhaps anyone would, from spending some time watching them and contemplating their place in creation. Time spent like that makes me more in tune and less forlorn.

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