Innisfree, Ireland

William Butler Yeats:  Irish poet born in Dublin and died in France.  He came from a wealthy, well off, family who saw to his privileged education in both London and Dublin.  He tried to restore the Irish poetry scene and co-founded the Irish theater, later known as the Abbey Theater, with Lady Gregory. He started off writing dramas for his theater and eventually found a passion it poetry.  He is most noted as a  Nobel Prize winner for his astounding works.  He continued to elevate his writing and wrote his most famous poems after his Nobel Prize win.  The reoccurring themes in his poems tend are art, life, theories of life, and beauty ideals of the time. Click here to read his complete biography.

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The Lake Isle of Innisfree

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 grey,

I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

 –William Butler Yeats [written 1890, published 1890]

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In this poem by Yeats he talks about what a nice peaceful experience for him would be.  He describes the ocean town of Innisfree in Ireland.  The way he describes everything in detail and how he uses the senses allows the reader to place themselves there in the town, in the cabin.  Personally, I feel that this poem is expressing his urge to take a break from the world and relax in a small cabin, live of the land, and enjoy the nature around him.  He talks about how he wants to have a small crop field and how he wants to always hear the waves, which tend to be associated with calm and tranquility.  I feel like this poem, even though it only describes one town, embodies most of what Ireland is like.  When you think of Ireland you think of small, older towns along the ocean where it is calm and everyone knows each other.


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