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Destruction, the World and Me - Poem Review

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Destruction, the World and Me

The poem, "The World Is Too Much With Us," written by William Wordsworth, speaks passionately about human's inability to view the natural beauty all around and blames this lack of spiritual doting on peoples obsession with money and material possessions, "getting and spending," (Wordsworth 58). Wordsworth implies that we are selling our souls for our need of material possessions, all the while neglecting and abusing our conditional gifts of nature and spirit. Wordsworth was speaking of early industrialization making his world a greedy, characterless, distressing and destroying place; I also believe this to be true of my world today.

Every day I wake up and watch the sunrise around 6'oclock am. I then get in the shower to prepare for my day. I catch the light rail around 7:30 and make my way downtown to school. On the way I look out the window, which gives me a complete overview of the Denver Metro area. The orange sky lights up above the mountains, trees and skyline - completely amazing. Simultaneously the dark, solid smog cloud slowly forms above the factories and city - completely grotesque. Pollution in Denver is no longer a winter phenomenon limited to Downtown, but a year-round problem blanketing the entire area. Let's not forget Denver is rated one of the greenest cities in America!

I aspire to return to the times when I could take my children fishing at the local reservoir, but this is no longer because of the mercury released into our once virgin environment by power plants, chemical manufacturers and other industrial facilities. "Mercury (Hg) contamination has been recognized as a threat to human and ecosystem health worldwide (Swackhamer et al.76 2004; Driscoll et al. 2007; Mergler et al. 2007). Over the last three decades it has become apparent that atmospheric deposition of Hg plays an important role in delivering Hg in the environment through various activities (e.g., power production and incineration) and as such, even remote, "pristine" systems are at risk from Hg contamination (Hermanson 80 1991; Fitzgerald et al. 1998). Like Wordsworth I long for a simpler time, when fishing was absurdly pleasurable and you could actually consume your catch without fear of mercury overdose.

This summer when I asked my children where they wanted to go camping, which we do several times a summer, my son replied. "How about if we just go to Target and buy a toy?" I thought my jaw would drop from my face and shatter into pieces on the ground in front of me. I reminisced about the hundreds of camping trips I had taken as a kid, loving every second of the fresh air, sunshine, swimming, fishing, hiking and stargazing. I caught my own grasshoppers as bait and never thought once about the mosquitoes biting me from head to toe. I was in heaven! I immediately thought, "What have I done wrong? Why don't they like the outdoors? I'm not materialistic, why are they?" I then came to the realization that they are living in a different world then I was. A world where, like Wordsworth asserts, whoever has the coolest shoes, newest toy and most advanced form of technology is the one whom has the respect. When did material possessions take over or societal stature? It took over my children's lives the day I let it, and for one second gave into my want or need and made a fuss over something materialistic that I may have wanted.



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