Chapter 2 The Lake Isle of Innisfree

The chapter The Lake Isle of Innisfree is a poem by WB Yeats. All you need to know and learn about this chapter is given below.

Meet the Poet

  • WB Yeats is an Irish romantic poet known for his work based on Irish nationalism.
  • Born: 13 June 1865
  • Place of Birth: Dublin, Ireland
  • Died: 28 January 1939
  • Major Works: ‘The Second Coming’, Sailing to Byzantium and Easter 1916
  • Best Known for: WB Yeats is not just a poet but also a prose writer. He is the last among the romantics and the pioneer of modernism in English literature.
WB Yeats Statue at Silgo town
WB Yeats Statue at Silgo town

Summary of the Poem

The Lake Isle of Innisfree is a poem in which WB Yeats narrates about an uninhabited island in the coast of Ireland and its beauty. The poet is romanticising the peace and tranquility that place has to offer through the poem.

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;

The poet wants to move from the city space to the island named Innisfree. He longs to return to the small home build of clay that is fenced using sticks. He wishes to live in that open forest area among the bees and nature. He is longing for solitude. In the first stanza he brings out his thoughts on how nature is a provider. His thoughts and likings also lean towards a rural life that is based on self-sustenance.

Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee, And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

In the second stanza he is explaining about the landscape and serenity present in it. He is confident that he will have peace living there. The peace and positive energy present there comes slowly as if the dawn is coming out of the veil. The morning is coming, carrying peace and calmness into the place where the cricket was singing at night. This is a comparison made to his own life. This place is offering calmness to his mind which is loud with unnecessary noises.

In this beautiful island the poet finds shimmer in the darkness of the midnight sky. Similarly, he looks out for the purple glow in the harshness of noon. He is taking time to appreciate and enjoy the tiny wonders. The evenings in the island are decked with the presence of linnets. Linnets are a variety of birds. In the evening these birds occupy the sky.

There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow, And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

He then transitions himself into his present reality. He awakens from his thoughts and decides to leave. But he reassures that he can still hear the sound of gushing water gushing at the lake present in the island even as he stands on the concrete payment in the city. He can hear the lapping water in his heart’s core.

The city space he is referring to in the poem is the city of London. He is clearly making a demarcation between London and Ireland through the poem. In this poem he is calling out his love for his homeland.

While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavement grey, I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

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The Lake Isle of Innisfree Questions and Answers

Below are a few questions that you can look out for your examinations and class tests. Stand out with perfectly written answers with help of Aneetta Class.

The poet imagines a peaceful life on the island. The poet wishes to capture all that nature has to offer him on the island including, the buzzing bees, bright sunlight, solitude and sight of flying linnets.

It is clear from the last stanza that the poet lives in a city. ‘While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavement grey’.

He wants to travel to the island to enjoy the peace and calmness it has to offer.