The Lake Isle of Innisfree by W.B Yeats (Notes)

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The Lake Isle of Innisfree.
Poet: W.B. Yeats
Topic: Nature
Theme: The main theme of this poem is the poets longing to return to the beautiful isle of Innisfree and to live in harmony with nature.

Subject Matter: At the time, Yeats was living in London. He was tired of the hustle and bustle of city life and longed to return to Sligo where he could live close to nature. In the opening line of the poem he sets out his intention to return. He envisages clearing some tress and building a hut from traditional sources. "Clay and wattles made," He intends to be self-sufficient, "Nine bean rows I will have there, a hive for the honey bee." He looks forward to the peace he will experience there, in sharp contrast to the noise of London. He describes the sights, sounds and colors which he will experience. In the final verse, he repeats his determination to return to Innisfree. In his mind, he thinks he can hear the lake watter "lapping on the shore." It is a part of him. "I hear it in the deep heart's core." He must return to experience this in reality.

Language and Style: The poem is made up of three four line verses with line one rhyming with line three and line two with line four. It is very rich in sound. Along with rhyme, there are numerous examples of alliteration. "A hive for the honey bee" Assonance is also present. "Clay and wattles made." An excellent example of consonance is found in lines seven and eight with repetition of the "L" sound, in words such as "all," "glimmer," "purple," "glow," "full," and "linnets." Onomatopoeia is found on the final verse with reference to the "water lapping," on the shore. Yeats creates some beautiful images in this poem. One excellent example is to be found in the second verse. " There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow." You can practically picture the reflection of the moon on the water at midnight, hence the word glimmer, while the purple glow possibly refers to the sun shining through the wild purple...
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