Poetry/Short Lit. All selections relate to a writer’s insights about the role of human beings as stewards of Earth. As you read each piece, ask yourself: • What is the relationship of human beings with the biophysical environment? • Do the technological advances of the last few centuries constitute an improvement for humankind OR • Are the innovations of the Industrial Revolution and technological modernity a slowly unfolding global catastrophe? ROMANTICISM • Intro Video SONNETS • Usually associated with love/desire • Petrarchan/Italian: ABBA-ABBA-CDCDCD or ABBA-ABBA-CDECDE • Shakespearean/English: ABAB-CDCD-EFEF-GG LYRIC POETRY • Speaker reveals thoughts/feelings about an intensely felt idea or experience SPEAKER • Not always the poet • However, the speaker in Wordsworth’s sonnets has very similar thoughts/beliefs to the poet. William Wordsworth • Wordsworth Bio • Two sonnets we will study: – “The World is Too Much With Us” – “Steamboats, Viaducts, and Railways” – Both have revealing titles “The World is Too Much With Us” • Italian sonnet form • TENSION! (Human behavior vs. Natural world) • Themes: – Humanity cheats itself by turning its back on nature. – Nature provides spiritual renewal. Poem Analysis • Line 1: – “the world” = humanity, humankind – We are too caught up in our concern for the limited/limiting ways of people. – “late and soon” = human failing, human urgency • Line 2: – “Getting and spending” = multiple meanings (reproductive and financial connotations), but definitely related to material/fiscal issues here • Lines 5-9: – Soul-destroying numbness – We can’t be “moved” by nature because we have “[lain] waste our powers” – VOLTA/TURN begins in line 8 – “we are out of tune” but actually occurs in line 9. Can you find it? • Line 9-10: – Wishes to be a Pagan because he can be closer to nature, but this is not his first choice. He will only be “less forlorn.” – Paganism = animate the natural world/divine presence – Exclamation = tension between Christian era and Pagan past. • Line 13-14: – Lesser-known Greek gods are both associated with nature and the sea; shows intimate connection to nature “Steamboats, Viaducts, and Railways” • Written in 1833 (later in his life and at the start of the Victorian period); his ideas about the world had shifted. – Youthful rebelliousness – Yearning for communion with nature conservative opinions faith in civilization’s progress • Often wrote poems about life experiences with English landscape. (The Lake Poet) • This poem shows different side of WW. • Modified Italian sonnet (switched up line 6 and 7 AND the last 6 lines’ rhyme scheme) • Used this sonnet to respond to the effects of the Industrial Revolution. • Sonnet form became “available” for use with multiple ideas/topics (not just love). • Theme: – The forms of human creation can sometimes be at odds with a poet’s aesthetics. Poem Analysis • Title is emblematic • Comparison: Auto industry transformed 20th Century America • Line 1: – “Motions and Means” – manmade devices – In speaking to “them,” he is apostrophizing. • Lines 1-5 have pauses in the middle (caesuras) which reinforce the tensions between human invention and the study of art and beauty. This form reflects the theme. • Unusual capitalizations throughout (l. 1, 3, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12) – why? • Also discusses the importance of Time in bringing about understanding and appreciation for technological advances. – Everyone will come around! • Last word is “sublime,” which reflects his deep affinity for the aesthetics; awe-producing. Closing Question • Has technology become more of a help or a handicap for our society?