In this poem, Wordsworth makes an initial claim that humanity has lost touch with nature, and that our focus has shifted to materialistic needs. The speaker complains that "the world" is too overwhelming for us to appreciate it. We are so concerned about time and money that we use up all our energy. People want to accumulate stuff, so we see nothing in nature that we can own. We have given away our souls in order to reap a material blessing – "sordid boom." In our quest for material gain, we do not notice the beauty of the sea and the fury of the winds. Nothing in nature moves us. The speaker wishes that he were a pagan raised in accordance to a different version of the world, so that, "standing on a pleasant lea," he might see ancient gods rising from the sea, a sight that would cheer him greatly. He imagines "Proteus rising from the sea," and Triton "blowing his wreathed horn." Wordsworth's poem dramatizes the conflict between nature and humanity. The conflict in essence, is one where humanity no longer appreciates nature and instead exploits it for its own material gain.
William Wordsworth's "The World is Too Much With Us" is, for the most part, written in iambic pentameter in the form of a sonnet. A sonnet is a fourteen-line poem, the origins of which are attributed to the Italian poet Petrarch. In English, there are two types of sonnets, the Petrarchan and the Shakespearean, both containing fourteen lines. Wordsworth's poem is a Petrarchan sonnet, developed by the Italian poet Petrarch. A Petrarchan sonnet consists of an eight-line stanza called an octave and six-line stanza (sestet). The octave often proposes a problem or concern and the sestet develops a theme or suggests a solution to the problem. The ninth line ( first line of the sestet) makes a shift in the direction of the poem and is called the "turn" of the Volta.