The Lake Isle of Innisfree


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (October 26, 2013). This article is about the book by William Butler Yeats, a Nobel Prize winner. Presented by Knight Commander Rizal, Professor Sir Dr. Tan Man Ho.


The Lake Isle of Innisfree

Author: William Butler Yeats
Original title: The Lake Isle of Innisfree
Country: Ireland
Language: English
Genre: Poem
Publisher: National Observer
Publication date 1890

William Butler Yeats' poem "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" describes a sort of utopia that the narrator wishes to escape to. He wishes to leave the city and go to a remote place where life is simple, the beauty of mother-nature all around. It is a place where one lives off of the land, so consumerism doesn't exist. Yeats wrote this poem after passing a display on Fleet Street in London. Yeats writes in his autobiography "I had still the ambition, formed in Sligo in my teens, of living in imitation of Thoreau on Innisfree ....... and when walking through Fleet Street very homesick I heard a little tinkle of water and saw a fountain in a shop-window which balanced a little ball upon its jet, and began to remember lake water. From the sudden remembrance came my poem Innisfree, my first lyric with anything in its rhythm of my own music". This poem was written in 1888, and was published in the "National Observer" in 1890.

Yeats was inspired by Henry David Thoreau's Walden. He wanted to imitate Thoreau by living on Innisfree. Yeats attempted "to create a form of poetry that was Irish in origin rather than one that adhered to the standards set by English poets and critics" (Kemer).

Yeats used sounds found in nature (bees, crickets, and water lapping) to make Innisfree appear to be peaceful and tranquil. There is a pause in the middle of the first three lines of every stanza; Yeats does this to slow the reader down, so that they can feel the calm that his lines are expressing.


The Lake Isle of Innisfree

I will rise and go now, and go to innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live a lone in the bee-loud glade,

And I shall have some peace there, for peace come dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will rise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavement's grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

William Butler Yeats (Written in 1888)

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