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The Lake Isle of Innisfree
William Butler Yeats



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.

This poem first appeared in The National Observer (1890).
It is now in the public domain.


William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) was born and raised in Ireland, though he spent time in London as a child, and in the United States as an adult. William's father was an artist, and his mother spent hours regaling her children with colorful Irish tales and legends—subject matter which shows up in her son’s poetry again and again.Considered one of the most significant figures in 20th century literature, William had a lifelong fascination with mysticism and was involved with art and theatre as well as poetry; his work was greatly influenced by his country's beauty, folklore, and politics.  


Post New Comment:
Being Irish, I love this poem, always have done, a fine writer:))
Posted 06/28/2011 05:54 PM
There is also the lovely song-setting of this on one of the early Judy Collins albums, which is where I first encountered the poem, and indeed, Yeats. I think I was 16...
Posted 06/28/2011 11:27 AM
I have a beautiful print of this poem on my dining room wall. My sister gave it to me after I made my first journey to Ireland. It certainly restores my soul when I read it. And reading it aloud was a lovely experience as well. Thanks.
Posted 06/28/2011 09:17 AM
I've been fortunate to spend several weeks at the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, where Galway Kinnell led the poets. Often as we gathered he'd recite this from memory, his deep voice, the perfect insturment for this poem unforgettable.
Posted 06/28/2011 09:01 AM
yes. definitely read out loud. you can almost hear the bee-loud glade.
Posted 06/28/2011 07:14 AM

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