William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939) was born in Dublin. He fell in love with Maud Gonne, an Irish Nationalist who fought for social justice. His love was not returned. He remained heartbroken till he was 52 years old, the age when he finally got married.
Even though he was of English origin, he loved Ireland very much and thought of himself as an Irishman. His father, John Butler Yeats, was an artist and encouraged him to write poetry. Being a patriotic Irishman, he wrote many poems on the beauty of Ireland, its magic, folklore and political scenario. Apart from that, he wrote many poems for Maud Gonne, hoping for her love in return.
He was referred to as the greatest Irish poet. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923. He was appointed as the Member of the Irish Senate (1922 - 1928)
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 honey-bee 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.
What is the poem about?
The Lake Isle of Innisfree, Lough Gill, Ireland
The Lake Isle of Innisfree is about a person’s desire and imagination to leave the city and go to a peaceful place in the country. He wants to escape the harshness of modern living. In this poem, the persona wants to go to a small island in the middle of a lake. It is called the Lake Isle of Innisfree. The persona wants to live by himself in a peaceful place. He also wishes to be close to nature. He thinks of the things that he will do there. He will build a cabin and plant vegetables. He even imagines the sounds he will hear and the things he will see in Innisfree. The poem is about enjoying the beauty of nature and enjoying the peace and quietness the countryside can give us.
This poem reminds me of Louis Armstrong's masterpiece, What A Wonderful World. The song talks about nature, the world god has created and how wonderful life is. Let's listen to the beautiful music before moving on with the poem's meaning. Enjoy!
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,Meaning: The persona will get up and go to Innisfree,And a small cabin build there, Meaning: There will be a small house build near the lake on the island
Meaning: There are nine rows of bean plants near the house
a hive for the honey-bee;
Meaning: and a home for honey bees in the persona’s garden
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.
Meaning: The persona wants to live alone in the small house which islocated in an open area where he can only hear the sound of the bees buzzing .Meaning: The persona will have some peace in Innisfree. The persona can feel the peacefulness relaxingly.Meaning: The peacefulness starts when the morning is filled with mist to where the cricket sings;Meaning: and the persona can hear the crickets chirping in the morning; (click on the above video to hear the sound of early morning crickets)Meaning: At midnight, the sky shines from the moonlight and the stars. The persona can see a glimmer of light on the far shore.and noon a purple glow, Meaning: The persona can feel the peacefulness in the afternoon when the sun shines brightly. The shines from the sun looks purple. And evening full of the linnet's wings.Meaning: The persona can also feel the peacefulness in the evening where he can hear the sound of birds.Meaning: The persona will get up and go to Innisfree. He will stay there for days and nightsI hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;Meaning: The persona hears the sound of the lake water lapping by the shore. The sound of the lake water lapping is the sound made when the water touches the shore gently and regularly, often making a soft sound. (click on the above video to hear the sound of lake shore waves)
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,Meaning: Whenever the persona stands on the road in the city where
To download the booklet on this poem, click the following link:
- Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia (2005) Selected Poems And Short Stories Form 1. Kuala Lumpur. Dewan Bahasa Dan Pustaka.
- Mac, Yin Mee (2006) Extreme PMR Notes Literature Component Form 1.Selangor. Sasbadi Sdn. Bhd.
- Morais, Crescentia (2007) Selected Poems & Short Stories Light On Lit The Literature Component Made Easy. Petaling Jaya. Pearson Longman