31 July 2012

William Wordsworth analyzes the smart phone phenomenon

Here's something else to file under "the more things change":

On Seeing Some Tourists of the Lakes Pass by Reading; a Practice Very Common

What waste in the labour of Chariot and Steed!
For this came ye hither? is this your delight?
There are twenty-four letters, and those ye can read;
But Nature's ten thousand are Blanks in your sight.
Then throw by your Books, and the study begin;
Or sleep, and be blameless, and wake at Your Inn!

-- William Wordsworth

Very elegant and witty, and pointed, but I'll probably just continue snarling "Watch where you're going" to those clueless idiots who walk down the sidewalk staring at their stupid toys, assuming everyone else will leap out of their way. If it's so awful to be where you are, maybe you should think about why it's so awful, and what you're doing there.

The poem is on page 432 of the Penguin Classics edition of The Poems of William Wordsworth, Volume 1.


Sibyl said...

Actually told a teen on the street yesterday, "eyes up, Sweetie." I have a well practiced pre-school teacher voice, so I get away with it. I am a Luddite, except where I am not.

Patrick J. Vaz said...

"Eyes up, sweetie" is a good one. I might try it, except it will probably sound more hostile coming from me, possibly (but just possibly) because it would be. I'm hearing something brisk but basically friendly in "pre-school teacher voice." I'm afraid my simmering rage would get the better of me.

"I am a Luddite, except where I am not" -- yes, perfect, exactly!