Explaining Anxiety in Poetry: William Wordsworth

June 27, 2018 TJ DeSalvo

Explaining anxiety is difficult, but poetry can help other people understand what we're going through. Check out this anxiety explanation at HealthyPlace.

Explaining anxiety isn't an easy feat. As someone who studied English literature in school, I often turn to poetry to help me gain perspective. The great poets have been through the same struggles we have, and their work is an invaluable testimony of those struggles.

In this video post, I examine William Wordsworth’s great sonnet, The World is Too Much With Us – a poem that, on the surface, isn’t necessarily about anxiety, but one whose message has been invaluable in explaining anxiety and putting anxiety into perspective.

William Wordsworth, 'The World is Too Much With Us'

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.

APA Reference
DeSalvo, T. (2018, June 27). Explaining Anxiety in Poetry: William Wordsworth, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, April 14 from

Author: TJ DeSalvo

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