March 22, 2010

“The world is too much with us” – or is it the World Wide Web?


“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!”
       William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
       English Romantic poet  
       From his poem “The World Is Too Much With Us” (1807)


“400 million people are friending, unfriending, and trading Farmville cows on Facebook. 50 million people are tweeting, retweeting, and getting into tweetbates about March Madness or the virtues of Four Square. To paraphrase William Wordsworth, the World Wide Web is too much with us.”  
       Katie Couric
       CBS news anchor 
       Posted March 18, 2010 on “Katie Couric’s Notebook” blog


“The Press is too much with us, small and great:
We are undone of chatter and on dit,
Report, retort, rejoinder, repartee...
O for a lodge in some vast wilderness!
Some region unapproachable of Print,
Where never cablegram could gain access,
And telephones were not, nor any hint.”
       Austin Dobson (1840-1921)
       English poet and essayist  
       In his poem “A Pleasant Invective against Printing” 
       From The Complete Poetical Works of Austin Dobson (1923) 


“Men can concentrate in messy rooms if the alternative is to clean them. But women! The mess ‘is too much with us; late and soon,’ cleaning and cooking, ‘we lay waste our powers.’” 
       Rhiannon Paine
       American writer 
       In her story “The Liverpool School of Dream and Pun”
       From Expat: Women's True Tales of Life Abroad (2002) 


“The government, the vessel of secular humanism, is too much with us; and...getting and spending in political programs, we lay waste our powers.”  
       William F. Buckley, Jr. (1925-2008) 
       American Conservative journalist and commentator
       In an article titled “The Focus Was on Reagan”
       In his syndicated column "On the Right," August 24, 1976


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