Wordsworth’s “The World Is Too Much With Us” – Winning the Rat Race without Running It

HOW TO WIN THE RAT RACE WITHOUT RUNNING IT We think the rat race we’re all stuck in – rushing from one obligation to the next, never knowing what we’re going in life, panting and straining just to get by…


We think the rat race we’re all stuck in – rushing from one obligation to the next, never knowing what we’re going in life, panting and straining just to get by – is a new thing, an invention of the modern age, but as you can see in this poem, it’s as old as the industrial age, at last.

The difference is, today we have more opportunities to deal with it than ever before.

Winning the Rat Race Without Running It – On reading Wordworth’s “The World is Too Much With us.”

Watch the entire series “The Wisdom of 101 Famous Poems” on Vimeo/com/HulaInk. Remember to subscribe!

This video contains:

– The poem
– a short biography of the poet
– My essay: “Winning the Rat Race without Running It”

One reason I love this classic American collection of poems is that it’s old-fashioned-ness: all our modern self-fascination and trendy irony is gone and in it’s place is good old inspiration and love of duty and purpose. I think a lot of us are so caught up in the concern of our time that we lose sight of the values our world were built on – it’s healthy for all of us to recall them to mind once in a while.

Thus the 101 Famous Poem Project – producing every poem in the collection as a stand-alone videobook on Vimeo.


About the poet:

William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850) was the English poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, launched the Romantic Age in English literature when they published Lyrical Ballads together in 1798.
Wordsworth was born in Cockermouth, Cumberland; his father was a lawyer and of his four siblings, his sister Dorothy was also a poet and influenced Wordworth’s work.
In college and later in life, Wordsworth spent his holidays on extensive walking tours in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and France, sometimes with Dorothy and Coleridge.
In revolutionary France, he fell in love with the Revolution and a woman with whom he fathered a daughter. Instead of marrying, he returned alone to England and married his childhood friend Mary Hutchinson, who bore him five children.
He met Samuel Taylor Coleridge in Somerset and the two poets became lifelong friends. In his preface to their Lyrical Ballads, Wordsworth wrote his famous definition of poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.“
He worked for the government as Distributor of Stamps for Westmorland, and received an honorary doctorate in Civil Law by the University of Oxford.
Seven years before his death, Wordsworth was named Poet Laureate of England, an honor he only accepted on the condition that he have no duties, and thus became England’s only Poet Laureate who never wrote any official verses.
The poem The World is too Much With us is one of his most famous poems and one of the first intellectual works to criticize the woes of the modern, industrial world.


Who are Lothar Rosengarten and E.T. Hansen?

The music in this audio- and videobook was performed by our producer and editor, Lothar Rosengarten (he also composed the opening jingle). Lothar is a musician living and performing in Berlin. For more information about him, visit his website at www.lothar-rosengarten.de.

E. T. Hansen is an American writer of fiction and non-fiction, in German and English, and lives in Berlin.

He writes fiction and non-fiction in English and German (Neuntöter, Blutbuche, Wassertöcher, Losing My Religion, The Cat Tales, Do Cats Have Souls?, The Art of Worldly Wisdom and more).

Many of his books and stories are published as complete videobooks on Vimeo.com/HulaInk.

You can support Eric and Lothar by:

– subscribing to Vimeo.com/HulaInk and sharing his videos;
– buying him a virtual whisky on PayPal.Me/HulaInk, or
– becoming a patron at Patreon.com/HulaInk.

But mostly we hope you enjoy and get something out of our work – thanks for your support and we wish you all the love, luck and happiness in the world.

Poets in this series include: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Edgar Allen Poe, Alfred Tennyson, Percy Byssche Shelley, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Rudyard Kipling, Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, William Shakespeare, Robert Frost, Robert Louis Stevenson, William Wadsworth, John Milton and more.

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The 2 music pieces used in this video are either copyrighted by Lothar Rosengarten (opening jingle) or in public domain (soundtrack for the poem). The performance is copyrighted by Lothar Rosengarten.

The photo of the poet and the text from which his or her biographical notes were adapted from Wikipedia.

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