Jan. 2 William Butler Yeats: the Lake Isle of Innisfree

Getting a late start on my New Year’s Resolution. One poem a day. I have picked “An Introduction to Poetry” Seventh Ed. by X.J. Kennedy to follow for a while. I will be using other poetry anthologies and folios as the year progresses.

My plan is to type a poem. Speak about the poem and compose a poem (though not necessarily in that order). The theme for the chapter in which this poem appears is “how to read a poem”.

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

by William Butler Yeats

I will arise and go now, and got to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles mad:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

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 evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise 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 pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

This poem seems to me to be a celebration of the silence of Nature and her subtle beauty. It feels like a place a person goes to retire, or a place to get away from the hubbub of the ratrace. I had to look up a couple of words: wattles which is a a crude construction material of twigs, reeds or branches interwoven with poles; it can also mean the skin of an animal (I’m thinking a turkey wattle hanging from its chin), linnet which is a type of finch, a North American bird. So even the words chosen speak of nature in a fairly raw state, even the things that are man-made are of simple construction, until we reach the end of the poem and, for now, he has to stand on the pavement and just listen to the lapping of the shore, but some day…

About penneloppe

I like to write horror, dark fantasy and crime fiction. Sometimes, I'll write science fiction, but usually I like to write science fact. I also write screenplays and stage plays. My day job is office work. I live in Seattle and I have a cat.
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