“The Lake Isle of Innisfree” by William Butler Yeats

Image Source: Ask About Ireland

Image Source: Ask About Ireland

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.

For me, there is a tangible spiritual connection that I experience when I remove myself from the distractions of the world and immerse myself in a serene, natural setting. I have often sat beside the water, alone, in a wooded area, and gazed at the ripples. When I do so, I easily slip into a meditative state. The sounds and vibrations of nature allow me to tune out my internal chatter and then bask in the spiritual side of my being.

For me, that is what Yeats is expressing through this quatrain. He wants to abandon the noise of the city and permit the natural world to turn his thoughts and focus inward, toward the “deep heart’s core.” His words beautifully paint an impressionistic setting where you can feel your thoughts turning toward your spiritual inner self.

I feel that saying more would only take away from this poem’s beauty and magic. I hope you found this piece as inspiring as I did.

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14 Comments

Filed under Literature, Spiritual

14 responses to ““The Lake Isle of Innisfree” by William Butler Yeats

  1. Between the lakeside, growing beans, cabin and solitude; it is hard not to think of this being inspired by Thoreau & his ponderings of the Bhagavad Gita.

  2. Hi there dear Jeff !🚗⚠️…. I love your analysis of Yeats´poem… There is certainly a sort of escape from reality over here, which most times is related to Poetry and Art in general… One wonders why artists have to be alone to create. I think that mainly to listen to themselves and remain faithful to their inner calls. Thanks so much for sharing!
    All my best wishes, Aquileana ✨

    • PS… “The lightning spark of thought generated in the solitary mind awakens its likeness in another mind.” – Thomas Carlyle.

    • Hi Aquileana. Glad you liked the post. I think, more than an escape from reality, it is quieting the mind to perceive alternate realities. Castaneda would call it “shifting the assemblage point.” Blake would say opening the “doors of perception.” I feel it is more an inner quest than an escape. But that’s just my interpretation, for what it’s worth 🙂

      Sending a hug and lots of warm wishes. Hope you are well.

      Jeff

  3. I must have read this in college, but I don’t think I could have appreciated the idea or imagery until now. It’s good to go back to the old stuff and give it a second try! And it’s good to get away from the stress of life and at least imagine a place like this.

  4. I have long-loved this poem and Yeats. It was a quiet journey to his resting place in Sligo country and standing at his grave recalled that poetic spirit.

  5. If I don’t get out of the city periodically, I begin to feel like I’m living in a test tube—i.e. sterile. The moment I get into the countryside, I can literally feel parts of my brain reactivating, giving deep peace and a sense of wellness. I believe we need that connection with nature. At least, we do in our current form. I have no idea what the future holds for humanity.

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