Thursday, August 3, 2017

Yeats brings me (and you) some peace of mind

First there is this poem:


By 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 honeybee, 
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 gray,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.


And there is this personal postscript:

Once upon a time, when I performed my role as adjunct professor of English composition and literature, the foregoing poem was often one of the first poems assigned to students in my courses. Even the reluctant readers, including those who said they hated poetry, would embrace and enjoy Yeats' magnificent lyric. Those students became, for at least a semester, interested readers of poetry. 

Now, in the late autumn of my life, every now and then, especially on days when I do not enjoy life very much, I embrace and enjoy the poem, and Yeats brings me much peace of mind. 

I offer "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" to you, and I hope it brings you peace. Treat yourself by reading the poem aloud to someone. Savor the words. Enjoy the smiles. 


  1. very nice poem... except for the lake, it's talking about our place... well, there's lumpyland creek which gurgles politely on occasion... rabbits, deer, mice, elk, and us share and share alike...

  2. Mudpuddle, I grew up beside a gurgling creek, up the road from a muddy river, and now I live a stone's throw from the bay and ocean, but I think I'd prefer Innisfree and a bee loud glade. Some rabbits, mice, deer, and elk would be nice too.

  3. I like Yeats' way of expressing himself, Tim - very much. I especially like the way this poem connects us with nature.

    1. Margot, the pavements gray must sometimes be escaped. Yeats offers a way out.

  4. R.T.--one of my favorite poems by Yeats.

    1. Fred, it is one my favorite poems for the classroom.

    2. R.T.--I can see that it is an excellent poem to introduce those who don't read poetry--very straightforward and clearly expressed.

    3. Fred, it has many teachable moments with its form, rhythm, rhyme, diction, theme, voice, logic, and so much more.