Lake Isle of Innisfree - an Overall Summary of Themes

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The Lake Isle of Innisfree – William Butler Yeats

Original Text:

“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.”

At a glance, the poem looks like a simple representation of the poet’s utopia, a serene place of quiet; where, in the poet’s words, ‘I (the poet) shall have some peace’. The poem sends us to this wonderful pace called Innisfree and illustrates its many natural attractions.

However, despite its initial simplicity and pleasantness, the poem, in fact, voices the poet’s frustration towards his present abode, which at the time was the bustling city of London, and the urgency he felt for running away from it.

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree

The words Yeats picks, despite being every-day, work to reinforce the urgency of his awakening. The word ‘arise’ used in the first line seems to suggest a deeper meaning than waking up from a mere catnap. Instead, it appears as though the arousal he had was a grand affair of some sort. Also, the word ‘now’ also suggests his impatience and refusal to waste any time. He wanted to go to Innisfree and he wanted to do so NOW.

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.

In the above three lines Yeats informs us of the life...
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