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Essayonthepoem

TheLakeIsleofInnisfree
byWilliamButlerYeats
The Lake Isle of Innisfree by William Butler Yeats is a
twelve line poem
composedofthreequatrainsandfirstpublishedin1890.
Therhymeofthepoem
follow the scheme ABAB in the first stanza, CDCD in the secondstanza,and
EFEFinthird stanza.For instance, inthefirstquatraintheendwordofthefirst
line
Innisfree
rhymes with the end word in the third line honeybee, and
madein the secondlinerhymeswiththefourthline'sendwordglade.This
patternrepeatsthroughouttherestofthepoem.Moreover,thethreefirstlinesof
eachstanzaarewritten inhexameter, whilethelast lineiswrittenintetrameter.
In this point, is important to say that there isapause inthemiddle ofthefirst
three lines of each stanza and the stress pattern is iambic with an incomplete
footbeforethepause:
Iwillariseandgonow,andgotoInnisfree,
Andasmallcabinbuildthere,ofclayandwattlesmade
As can be s
een, the stress pattern of the poemcreatesasense ofharmonyand
suggests both the rhythm of a tranquil heartbeat and the rise and fall of the
oceanstides.ThisisrelatedwithserenitythatthepoetseesfeelintheLakeIsle
of Innisfree.
Actually, the poet employs some other sound devices to create a

peaceful and idyllic ambiance in which hewouldlikebeincontrastto hisreal


situation. Certain words, sounds and even lines are repeated in the poem to
emphasizeon thetranquilityof Innisfree. Forexa
mple,inlines3,4,and5there
are some repetitions of consonant sounds h, l, ands.Therefore,wecan affirm
that thepoetusesverypeaceful soundswhichareconnectedtothe content and
thesettingofthepoem.
The poem is related since the beginning with a place called the Lake Isle of
Innisfree.Thisplace
reallyexists and issituatedinIrelandinLoughGill.Inthe
poem,it isassociatedwiththeideaofasanctuarywherethespeakercanescape
from thehustleofcitylife.
Actually,the poemexploresthespeaker's
desiresto
unify withnatureandareturntoasimplerwayoflife.Thisisprovedinthefirst
stanza where the poet expresses his intentions to go to Innisfree. This isnota
suddenplan,but the speaker hasbeen thinkingalot aboutthatideaandis very
resolved. He knows how the house will be where he will live a small cabin
build there, of clay andwattlesmade (line2),whathewillproduceforliving
nine beanrowswillI havethere,ahiveforthehoneybee(line3),andhowhe
willlivelivealoneinthebeeloudglade.
It seems that the speaker wants to live alone in peace with nature. A very
important element that calls our attention is the biblical reference when the
speaker saysIwillariseandgo now(line1). Thesewords resemblethoseof

theprodigalsonwhen hesays:Iwillariseandgotomyfather(Luke15:18).
This reinforce the idea of Innisfree as a holy place. Besides, it bringsto mind
the prodigal son's sense of relief when he resolved to leave his chaotic and
unhappy life and return to his childhood home. Therefore, Innisfree may be a
symbol for both the speaker's passed youth and the source of his spiritual
essence. Consequently, we can say that
the speaker's vision of the island is a
romantic one because he imagines anidyllicplacewhere hewantstoreturnto
connecthimselfwithnaturalworldandfindspiritualidentity.
Inthe secondstanza, thepoet explainsthat hewantstogototheislandbecause
heneedapeaceful wayoflivingforhimself(line5).Forthatreason,heequates
a slow, simple pace of life with peacefulness, peace comes dropping slow.
Then,thespeakerexplainshowmorning,midnight,andeveningareonthelake
isle (lines 6 to8). Here
the poetalsousesimagerywhich worksonoursenses.
Midnight there is a glimmer, and noonisa purpleglow,andeveningis full of
linnetswings.
Itgivesusthe idea that hewillachievethispeace that hewants
by contemp
lating nature. On this point, we can infer that if the speaker is so
serious about gettingsome peacein his life,he isn'tfeeling too peaceful where
he is now. Moreover, we can see that this idea of peace linked to nature in
contrasttothecity.

Thethirdstanzastartswiththerepetitionofthefirstverseofthepoem.Thisline
reaffirms theidea ofgoing totheisland,anditisalsoreinforced bythesecond
partforalwaysnightandday.After that,thetenthlinegives usthesensation
that the poet is near the island (line 11). However,the two last lines breakthe
effect of the poem inthereaderbyexplainingthe real situationofthespeaker.
He is walking through a roadway andhe has stopped amomentto thinkabout
his future (line 12). The speaker wants to go to Innisfree and he is thinking
about it while he is walking. The future tense in all the poem because the
speakerisnotgoingtotheislandyet,butheisstillinthecity.
To conclude, we can say that
the speakers journey to Innisfree represents an
emotionalandspiritualescape ratherthananrealone.Thespeakerinthispoem
is not goingto theisleofInnisfree, but hethinksaboutit because itisawayto
escapefromreality. Asa result, thefantasyhehastoimaginethisperfectplace
allowshimtoovercomehisdiscontentinhislifeinthecity.