005. The Lake Isle Of Innisfree. W B Yeats Poem. Appreciation By P S Remesh Chandran


The Lake Isle Of Innisfree. W B Yeats Poem. Appreciation By P S Remesh Chandran

Editor, Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum


By PSRemeshChandra, 16th Mar 2011. Short URL http://nut.bz/19ed-hvz/
First Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Books>Poetry, Drama & Criticism. Link: http://sahyadribooks-remesh.blogspot.in/2012/01/05-lake-isle-of-innisfree-wbyeats.html


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 more beautiful words than he did, and fewer still have reminded the world of its duties and responsibilities as effectively. This poem has always been a sensation among the poetry-reading public and is the international song and manifesto of solitude-seekers.

Who will not wish to go to a Lake Island of Innisfree?


01. William Butler Yeats Portrait.

William Butler Yeats was an Irish Poet whose poems are noted for rich musical content. The Lake Isle Of Innisfree also was born out of an exquisite simple tune. Anyone walking through crowded city streets in any country subjecting himself to vehicle fumes, noise and dust and the irritation of rubbing elbows with others in congested and closed quarters, will wish to go to some place he knows where things are calm, quiet and spacious. All will have one such place in his mind. The placid and quiet Lake Isle of Innisfree has become the universal symbol that comes into any poetry reader’s mind when thinking about a place that would soothe his soul. Yeats immortalized the place of his choice through this poem.

The dream of all poets: a secluded hut in a lonely island.


02. Crowded city streets, the dread of poets.

The poet is lying buried under and entangled in the clutches of a mad city life. It has finally become such unbearable and suffocating for him that if it continues to go on so, he thinks, he will arise and go to Innisfree never to return. Standing in the street, he dreams of the beautiful and quiet Lake Isle of Innisfree and the secluded and self-sufficient life he would have lived there. The usual questions that arise in our mind would be, where he will live on this island, what will he drink and what will he eat.

A small cabin made of clay and wattles in a lonely islet.


03. The roadside dream of all poets.

On arriving there he would build a small cabin, made of clay and wattles available in plenty in any island. The problem of housing is thus solved. For food, he will turn to cultivation of beans, a sustaining, nutritious and easy-to-produce food eaten by hard labourers everywhere. And he will place a bee-hive somewhere in the island and collect honey which is another concentration of compact energy. Who will say honey would be scant in an island of flowers? Thus he will lead a satisfied and self-sufficient life in the island, listening to the humming of bees and lying alone contented in some bee-loud glade. What a contrast would it be to the thick city life in Belfast or London! Seeing how the questions of food and shelter are addressed, we can only hope he would be roaming the island properly dressed too in his revelry, clothed in whatever is available on the island in the form of twigs, leaves and strings.

Ideal peace is a dew-drop falling on the heated head of a cricket.


04. Open fire gives the wattle roof a steaming effect.

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, is strange, and lovely. In modern times, peace is an interval between two wars. Then what is peace to this poet? Even his idea of peace is modeled on the usual early morning sights one sees in rustic island life. The crickets in the island have been singing and shrieking all through the night, and are now sitting with 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 dew drops and a drop of peace from the trees above fell straight into the heated head of that cricket. What a peace- that cricket yelled! The peace that cricket enjoyed then, there, is what peace is to the poet.

Which is more beautiful- morning, noon or night?


05. The mid-lake abode of loneliness and quietness.

How are the morning, noon, evening and midnight in the Lake Isle of Innisfree? The readers of this poem would already have guessed about the freshness and nascence of the dew-filled and misty dawns in that island. The noon would be the most dreary and dull in all places but the noon in Innisfree is as charming and pleasing as the evenings in other places. And the evenings there are exotic, due to the presence of thousands and thousands of beautiful migratory and nestling birds. And doesn’t anyone think the nights there would be devoid of similar beauty. The midnights of Innisfree are illuminated by tiny lights of millions of fire-flies. What else is needed to enchant and seduce a poet?

All alone in a bee-loud glade: roused by car horns in the middle of a street.


06. Alone in the middle of a bee-loud glade.

Alas! Perhaps a car horn on his very back might have roused him from his daydreams: he is still walking the city streets of London, not reclining 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 in the roadways and walking the footpaths in that crowded city, he still hears 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 in the street, thinking about his Paradise Lost, hoping he won’t jump into the onrush of traffic in the city, in his delirium.

Unnatural for the poet to recite his poem killing his music.


07. Inspiration for the poem: Lough Gill in Ireland.

This poem, Lake Isle Of Innisfree, was born with an exquisite tune which suited every line, word and syllable in the poem. Gramophone recordings of Yeats himself reciting this poem were made in 1932. Do not anyone think he brought out the original music hidden in this poem in this recording of his- he just read it like reading any piece of prose. It is unnatural for a poet of this magnitude to recite his poem killing his music. This might have been due to two reasons: Perhaps he may have feared the recitation pundits of his times who covered absence of musical skills by showing themselves more on pronunciation and impurities like accents. Or he may have wished his tune to never come out in his times- to be rediscovered only by later generations. This observation by the this writer is made not without taking into account how Yeats, in Chapter XV, Volume III of The Collected Works of W B Yeats- 1916 published by Simon and Schuster, described how he came to write this poem. But still the fact remains- this poem has beautiful inborn music.

Bloom Books Channel has a video of this poem.


08. The Lake Isle Of Innisfree Video Title. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faFK9_Gneug

Bloom Books Channel has a video of this song. A primitive prototype rendering of this song was made in a crude tape recorder decades earlier, in 1984. In 2014, a home made video of this song was released. In 2015, a third version with comparatively better audio was released. The next version, it’s hoped, would be fully orchestrated. It’s free for reuse, and anyone interested in can develop and build on it, till it becomes a fine musical video production, to help our little learners and their teachers.

You Tube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=faFK9_Gneug


First Published: 16th Mar 2011

Last Edited…… :23 March 2017

Pictures Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons


Picture credits:

01. William Butler Yeats Portrait By George Grantham Bain.

02. Crowded city streets, the dread of poets By Thaejas Kocherlakota.

03. The roadside dream of all poets By Kerala Tourism.org.

04. Open fire gives the wattle roof a steaming effect By Colin Smith.

05. The mid-lake abode of loneliness and quietness By Eibsee.

06. Alone in the middle of a bee-loud glade By Twiddleblatt.

07. Inspiration for the poem: Lough Gill in Ireland By Paul Mcllroy.

08. The Lake Isle Of Innisfree Video Title By Bloom Books Channel.

09. Author Profile Of P S Remesh Chandran By Sahyadri Archives.

Meet the author: About the author and accessing his other literary works.


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’. Edits and owns Bloom Books Channel. Born and brought up in Nanniyode, a little village in the Sahya Mountain Valley in Kerala. Father British Council-trained English Teacher and mother university-educated. Matriculation with High First Class, Pre Degree studies in Science with National Merit Scholarship, discontinued Diploma Studies in Electronics and entered politics. Unmarried and single.

09. Author Profile of P S Remesh Chandran By Sahyadri Archives.


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Bloom Books Trivandrum, College Notes, Free Student Notes, Irish Poets, Lake Isle Of Innisfree, Literary Essays, Poem Appreciations, Poem Reviews, Poetry Appreciations, P S Remesh Chandran, Sahyadri Books Trivandrum, William Butler Yeats.


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Identifier: SBT-AE-005. The Lake Isle Of Innisfree. William Butler Yeats Poem. Articles English Downloads Sahyadri Books & Bloom Books, Trivandrum. Editor: P S Remesh Chandran

August 2020