English Lake Isle of Innisfree

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THE LAKE ISLE OF INNISFREE
By William Butler Yeats
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.
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.
1892

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" (2025). 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...
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