The Lake Isle of Innisfree
This poem by William Butler Yeats is about his longing for the peace and tranquility of Innnisfree, a place where he spent a lot of time as a boy. It is a description of the beauty of the Lake of Innisfree. The natural beauty charms the poet greatly. He describes the natural scene of The Lake of Innisfree beautifully. He used to spend more time in that natural place. He longs or wishes to spend sometime in the natural lap of The Lake of Innisfree.
The twelve-line poem is divided into three quatrains and is an example of Yeats’s earlier lyric poems. Throughout the three short quatrains the poem explores the speaker’s longing for the peace and tranquility of Innisfree while residing in an urban setting. The speaker in this poem yearns to return to the island of Innisfree because of the peace and quiet it affords. He can escape the noise of the city and be lulled by the "lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore." On this small island, he can return to nature by growing beans and having bee hives, by enjoying the "purple glow" of noon, the sounds of birds' wings, and, of course, the bees. He can even build a cabin and stay on the island.
This poem creates an interest among the readers to adopt the nature in their lives and to live life in natural environment. The poet wants to build a small cabin of clays and fence in the lake Isle of Innisfree. He wants to have nine bean rows and a hive for the honeybee. He will live alone in the glade full of bees’ sound and there will be peace all round, the singing of cricket, glimmer of midnight, purple glow all over the place at noon and song of the flying linnet in evenings will charm and inspire him live in a natural place. He will spend some precious time in the lap of beautiful nature.
Q: “And I shall have some peace there”. How shall the poet have peace in Innisfree?
A: The poet wants to have peace there. It shall come to him in morning. The cricket and linnet will sing, mornings, noons, evenings and midnights shall have natural peace and beauty.
Q: How will the poet enjoy the night and the day?
A: He will hear the song of the cricket in the morning. He will enjoy seeing the noon purple glow. He will look and enjoy the glimmer of midnights.
Q: How are the pavements different from the ‘The lake isle of Innisfree’?
A: The pavements are dull grey as the poet stands on the roadway. But Isle of Innisfree and its surrounding are naturally beautiful.
Q: What kind of place is Innisfree? Think about.
A: It is a place where nature is beautiful, alive and full of life.
Q: The three things the poet wants to do when he goes back there.
(a) He will build a small cabin of clay and fence.
(b) He will have nine bean rows.
(c) He will have a hive for the honey bees.
Q: What he hears and sees there and its effect on him.
A: He will hear peace come dropping. He will hear the cricket sing. He will see the midnight shine. Noon purple shall glow. The evenings have linnets wings.
Q: What he hears in his “heart’s core” even when he is far away from Innisfree .
A: He hears the lake water lapping the shore with low sound.By now you may have concluded that Innisfree is a simple, natural place, full of beauty and peace.
Q: How does the poet contrast it with where he now stands?A: The Innisfree is a beautiful place. It is full of peace. The crickets sing here. The midnights shine here. The noons have a purple glow. The evenings have linnets symbolises dryness and decay. Thus there is a sharp contrast between this place and Innisfree.
Q: Do you think Innisfree is only a place, or a state of mind? Does the poet actually miss the place of his boyhood days?
A: It is a place which is full of beauty and peace. The physical features of the place prove that it is an actual place. The poet actually misses it. He has a deep desire to go to this place and he longs to live there.
Q: Look at the words the poet uses to describe what he sees and hears at Innisfree. What pictures do these words create in your mind?
A: The picture that comes to my mind is of the green glade. There is natural peace and beauty around there is a honeycomb. The honey bees hum over and around it.
(ii) Evenings full of the linnet’s wings
A: The picture is of the linnet’s fluttering its wings and sitting in the tree. The scene becomes lovely when more linnets come to a tree. They flutter and fly here. They create a pleasant sound.
(iii)Lake water lapping with low sounds
A: It is lovely scene when the lake water forms waves. These waves strike the lake’s shore. They create a peasant murmuring sound. The natural beauty of the place adds pleasure to the scene.
Q: What do these words mean to you? What do you think “come droppings low...from the veils of the morning”? What does “to where the cricket sings” mean?
A: These words mean the peace coming from all around when morning comes. The singing of the cricket is pleasant. It adds sweetness to this peace. The cricket sings merrily to greet morning. It may be singing a love song for its mate.