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Love Calls Us to the Things of This World

Love Calls Us to the Things of This World

by Richard Wilbur

Awe and Amazement Theme

At the beginning of "Love Calls Us to the Things of This World," the soul is in awe of the spirit world. Okay, nothing unusual at all about that; there are centuries of historical and religious art devoted to awe of the awesome. But eventually the awe shifts focus to the common, the flawed, and the human. Now that's something different. Wilbur wants to show us that there is plenty to be in awe of right under our noses. You know, all that stuff we usually pass by without giving a single thought? It's as if he's shaking us to say, open your eyes or you're going to miss your whole beautiful life.

Questions About Awe and Amazement

  1. How does the action in the first two lines lay the groundwork for awe and amazement? 
  2. How do the shifts in tone in the poem contribute to the idea of awe and amazement? 
  3. What, in the end, are we as readers supposed to be most impressed by, the spiritual world or the human world? Both? How can you tell?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The awe of the speaker isn't genuine; it's fake and sarcastic. The speaker loathes the human world and everything about it. He's being ironic. Duh.

The speaker isn't in awe of just the spiritual world, or just the human world. He's in awe of how they're connected.

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