005. The Lake Isle Of Innisfree. W B Yeats Poem. Appreciation by P S Remesh Chandran
Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum
Poets are accused to be unrealistic day-dreamers who are given to fancy. Day-dreaming and fancying all do and take off, but only a few can safely land also. W.B.Yeats was a perfect poet who could do both. Not many have expressed fancy in beautiful words as he did, and fewer still have reminded the world of it’s duties and responsibilities as effectively. This poem has always been a sensation among the poetry-reading public.
Who will not wish to go to the Lake Island of Innisfree?
W.B.Yeats was an Irish Poet whose poems are acclaimed for their rich musical content. The Lake Isle Of Innisfree also was born out of an exquisite pastoral tune. Anyone walking through crowded city streets subjecting himself to vehicle fumes, dust and noise and the irritation of rubbing elbows with others, will wish to go to some place he knows where things are in the opposite. All will have one such place in his mind. The quiet and placid Lake Isle of Innisfree has become the universal symbol that comes into any poetry reader’s mind. Yeats immortalized the place of his choice through this poem.
The dream of all poets: a secluded hut in a lonely island.
The poet is lying buried under and entangled in the clutches of a mad city life. It has finally become such unbearable and suffocating to him that, if it continues to go on so, he will arise and go to Innisfree never to return. Standing on the street, he dreams of the beautiful and quiet Lake Isle of Innisfree and about the secluded and self-sufficient life it would be possible for him to live there. The usual questions that would be arising in our minds would be, where will he live on the island, what will he eat and what will he drink.
A small cabin made of clay and wattles in a lonely islet.
On arriving there, he would build a small cabin, made of clay and wattles available in plenty on any island. The problem of housing is thus addressed. For his food, he will turn to cultivation of beans, a sustaining, nutritious, easy-to-produce food. And he will place a bee-hive somewhere on the island and collect enough honey. Who will say honey is scant in an island of flowers? Thus he will lead a satisfied and self-sufficient life there, listening to the humming of bees, and lying alone in that bee-loud glade. What a contrast to the thick city life in Belfast or London! Seeing how the questions of food and shelter are being addressed by the poet, we can only hope he would be roaming the island in his revelry properly dressed, in whatever is available there.
Ideal peace is a dew-drop falling on the heated head of a cricket.
In Innisfree, finally the poet will be able to get a little peace. The poet’s conception of peace is quite different from that of others and is strange but lovely. In modern times, peace is an interval between two wars. Then what is peace to this poet? Even his idea of peace is based on the usual early morning sights in a rustic island life. The crickets have been singing and shrieking all through the night, and now they are all sitting with their heated heads, wishing for a bit of coolness to come from somewhere. It was then that the dews of night and the morning mist condensed into peace and a dew drop from the tree leaves above, fell straight into the heated head of a cricket. It unknowingly exclaimed: How cool it is, and what peace! The peace that cricket enjoyed then, there, is what peace is to the poet.
Which is more beautiful- morning, noon or night?
How are the morning, noon, evening and midnight in the Lake Isle of Innisfree? The readers and singers of the song already knows the freshness and nascence of the dew-filled misty dawns in the island. The noon there is as charming as the evenings in other places. The evenings there are extremely exotic due to the presence of thousands of beautiful birds. And don’t think the nights there are devoid of similar beauty. The midnights of Innisfree are indeed illuminated by tiny lights from the millions of fire-flies. What else is needed to enchant and seduce a poet?
All alone in a bee-loud glade: roused by car hones in the middle of a street.
Alas! perhaps a car horn on his very back might have roused him; he is still walking the streets of the city, not lolling in the pleasantness of the lake island. However, he hears in his ears the very sound of lake water lapping gently over the shore. Standing on the roadways and walking the footpaths, he still hears the lake water resounding deep in his heart. Yes, he can have his cool revelry and daydreams; that is his privilege. He is entitled to it. We can leave him standing there on the street, thinking about his Paradise Lost, hoping he won’t in his delirium jump into the thick traffic of the City.
Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Appreciations, Books And Literature, Poetry, P S Remesh Chandran Trivandrum, Reviews, Sahyadri Books And Bloom Books Trivandrum, The Lake Isle Of Innisfree, W B Yeats
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Meet the author
Editor of Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Author of several books in English and in Malayalam. And also author of Swan: The Intelligent Picture Book. Born and brought up in the beautiful village of Nanniyode in Trivandrum District in the Sahya Mountain Valley in Kerala. Unmarried and single. Edits Bloom Books Channel, world’s foremost producers of musical English Recitation Videos.