The Lake Isle Of Innisfree


The Lake Isle Of Innisfree

By William Butler Yeats

The Lake Isle Of Innisfree Poem Introduction

This is a lyric poem. It's a song-poem. It explores into the poet's yearning for the peace and tranquillity of Innisfree, where he spent a lot of time as a child. The name Innisfree refers to a place. It is a very quiet place, which is why the poet wishes to visit it. This was where he had spent his childhood. He has lovely memories of that place, which is why he desired to return to the lake island of Innisfree.

The Lake Isle Of Innisfree Poem Summary

When the poet visits the peaceful Lake Isle of Innisfree, he is reminded of his childhood. He wants to go there and says he will live alone there. He wants to construct a small cabin out of clay and wattles. He'd grow beans and get a honeybee hive to survive on honey. The poet describes the lake's peaceful natural surroundings. He says that the scene of cloudy mornings, shining stars, the blazing Sun, and birds flying in the sky brings him peace. The soothing sound of the cricket's song relaxes him.

The poet felt called to visit the lake Isle of Innisfree. He can hear the sound of the lake waters crashing against the shore in the depths of his soul. It's almost as if the lake is calling to him. He can hear the sound everywhere he goes, whether it's on the crowded streets or the grey-colored pavements of the city where he lives. This indicates that he wishes to escape the artificial life of the city and return to the peace and tranquility of nature.

The Lake Isle Of Innisfree Poem Explanation

I will arise 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 honeybee,

And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

  • arise: stand up
  • cabin: room
  • wattles: twisted sticks for making fences, walls
  • glade: clearing, open space
  • Bee loud refers to the sound made by the buzzing of the bees.

The poet William Yeats is referred to as 'I' in this context. He expresses a desire to visit Innisfree. Over there, he will construct a small room for himself out of clay and small sticks used to build the cabin's walls or fences. He will grow nine rows of beans near his room because he will need food as well. He will also obtain honey from the honey bee hive. He says that the open space where he will build his room will be filled with the buzzing sound of bees, and that he will live alone, in peace and tranquilly, there.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes 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 evenings full of the linnet’s wings.

  • veils: a piece of fine material worn by women to protect or hide the face
  • cricket: an insect related to the grasshoppers but with shorter legs. The male produces a characteristic musical chirping sound.
  • linnet: a small brown and grey bird with a short beak
  • glimmer means something which is shining.

In this stanza, the poet says that when he is in Innisfree, he will feel peaceful, and that this feeling will come slowly and gradually. He describes how he would feel when he is at peace. When it is cloudy in the morning and the view is obscured, it appears as if the morning has wore a veil and hidden itself. Looking at this scene will calm him down. He also says that when the male cricket insect sings a song, he will be at peace. Also, when he sees the twinkling stars in the open sky at midnight, it will bring him peace. In the afternoon, when the sun's rays cast a purplish glow, he finds peace. He will feel peaceful in the evening when he sees the linnet bird flying in the sky.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day

I hear the lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;

While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,

I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

  • night and day: all the time
  • lapping: striking
  • heart’s core: the innermost part of the heart

The poet says in this stanza that he will now stand up and go to Innisfree because the sound of the lake waters striking the shore repeats in his mind all the time. This sound draws him to the lake. Wherever he is – on the road or on the grey – coloured pavements – he hears the sound deep in the depths of his heart.

The Lake Isle Of Innisfree Poem Literary Devices

1.Rhyme Scheme: abab

2.Alliteration: The repetition of a consonant sound in two or more closely placed words is called alliteration. The instances of alliteration in the poem are –

a.‘hive’, ‘honey bee’ – ‘h’ sound is repeated;

b.‘lake’, ‘lapping’, ‘low’ – ‘l’ sound is repeated

3.Repetition: ‘I will arise and go now’ is repeated in stanza 1 and 3

4.Personification: morning is personified

5.Metaphor: clouds are compared to veils

About the Poet

 The Lake Isle of Innisfree' is a poem written by Irish poet and playwright William Butler Yeats (1865-1939). The poem is about an actual place near Ireland's coast, the Lake Isle of Innisfree, which is a very small, uninhabited island on the lake Lough Gill in County Sligo.