The Lake Isle of Innisfree

The Lake Isle of Innisfree. Image copyright Ireland Calling
The Lake Isle of Innisfree. Image copyright Ireland Calling

The Lake Isle of Innisfree by W B Yeats was voted Ireland’s most popular poem by readers of the Irish Times Newspaper in 1999.

The Lake Isle of Innisfree. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Notes and analysis
Ireland’s 100 favourite poems
W B Yeats

The poem describes the desire of W B Yeats to return to a simpler more natural lifestyle.

It was written in 1889 when he was living and working in London. He was only 23 years old at the time.

The Lake Isle of Innisfree, image copyright Ireland Calling

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.

The Lake Isle of Innisfree, image copyright Ireland Calling

Yeats reading The Lake Isle of Innisfree and The Fiddler of Dooney


The Lake Isle of Innisfree
The Lake Isle of Innisfree notes and analysis
W B Yeats

Poems

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Ireland's 100 favourite poems

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