The Lake Isle of Innisfree

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In W.B. Yeats’s “The Lake Isle of Innisfree,” the poet describes Innisfree as a sanctuary. It is a place where the speaker will find peace. The poet paints a picture of this safe haven where one can escape the mundane world. It is a utopic island where one can find solace away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Innisfree has such a strong effect that it goes to the core of the speaker.

The poem is organized into three quatrains. The rhyme scheme is a,b,a,b, and Yeats uses masculine rhymes. This aids in the creation of the lilting tone that Yeats utilizes throughout the poem. The reader can almost hear the slow and steady flow of the “lake water lapping” on shore and feel the sense of peacefulness, which Yeats describes in such detail in the poem, (10). The speaker will rise to go to a “small cabin” on Innisfree where rows of beans will grow and honeybees will be raised. The speaker will live alone in a cabin listening to “the bee-loud glade,” (4). The speaker goes to this place for peace which “comes dropping slow, Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings,” (5-6). On the Lake Isle of Innisfree, the “midnight’s all a glimmer,” as the moon reflects off the water, and the “noon a purple glow,” as the sun shines on the water, (7). Whether it is night or day or in the city on “roadway” or “pavement,” the speaker remembers the Isle of Innisfree, (11). This special place of refuge has touched the “core” of the speaker, (12).

The reader does not know if the speaker actually physically gets to the Lake Isle of Innisfree. One is certain, however, that the speaker envisions the beauty of the natural setting, hears the sounds, and feels the peacefulness of Innisfree in his mind. The solace derived from even envisioning such a place, touches the very soul of the speaker.

-- all quotes from WB Yeat's "The Lake Isle of Innisfree
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