The 2 poems talk about the relationship between Man, Nature and God in different ways. William Wordsworths’ “The World is too much with us” begins his poem with pessimistic and negative points saying that he has lost hope in God as he says “I’d rather be a Pagan.” This implies that he is no longer optimistic that God can do anymore good and that the God who made nature has now become an idea and is no longer present. Gerard Manly Hopkins’ “God’s Grandeur” begins with optimism by saying “The world is charged with the grandeur of God,” showing that he is hopeful and still has faith in God.
Wordsworth sees Man as separating itself from Nature and becoming insensitive to it saying “we are out of tune”. This implies that we are not in harmony with Nature and are out of place and not responding to the beauties of Nature. He says that Man now lives in a materialistic world full of “Getting and spending,” which in other words means buying and selling. He says that as he dislikes the materialistic world which the world has become and that he wants to live in the past and that people now are too occupied with everyday matters and should let nature take its course. He also says we have destroyed nature although it did not even belong to us saying “We lay waste our powers”, which implies that we had better things to do with our powers but we still ended up destroying Nature.
In comparison, Hopkins says that although we have ruined Nature, it belonged to us as God had entrusted us with it and had given it to us as a gift. But Hopkins agrees with Wordsworth as he too says that Man now lives in a materialistic world by saying “And all is seared with trade, bleared, smeared with toil.” He accuses men of neglecting God by saying “Why do men then now not reck this rod”. But he also says that there is still hope as he says that God lives through Nature and that God is everywhere. He implies that Nature is God’s creation and that it is a gift to Man, and that we should stop and treasure it. He also mentions the Holy Ghost and describes it as a motherly, dove-like figure which looks after us and Nature.
Wordsworth ends pessimistically saying that we have totally destroyed Nature and that there is no way, or not even a God, to bring it all back to how it was. He wants to create a fantasy world by going back to ancient times and not being a Christian anymore. Hopkins ends very optimistically saying that the Holy Ghost is still everywhere and that God will restore Nature to how it was. He mentions “springs,” which symbolize new life and implies that things are not over yet.