Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers
I'm glad I went to college, because I read things there I wouldn't have otherwise known to seek out. And now, thirteen years later, I'll have lines of poetry running through my head that are exactly what I need.
Poetry is just so relatable. When I feel a certain way, I know I can turn to Emily Dickinson or Elizabeth Barrett Browning or Christina Rossetti and they will know how I feel. Reading their take on my feelings makes me feel better because they've felt it too—and they know how to explain it better than anyone.
I had to grow into poetry. When I was first exposed to the greats in high school, I didn't care for the poems nor really understand most of them. But now, after having had them in my brain for many years, they come back to me when I need them most, and I understand them better.
Here's a poem fragment that has been running through my head for a few months now. Reading it makes me feel small and petty—and then I remember that I don't need to be worrying about 99% of the things I worry about.
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.