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.
Where is the lake isle of Innisfree? Why does he want to go there? Is that the scenery and the landscape which but tempts him just like Tintern Abbey of Wordsworth and flashes upon the mind’s plane for a recollection? Or, for some romantic mood and its pensive reflection and the escapist temperament he wants to escape to? What is the matter? Where will he go lastly? What will he after gliding into? But whatever be the poetic ruffle, the crux of it, The Lake Isle of Innisfree is at first instance a poem of tranquil calm, serenity, peace, quietude and solitude. As his days spent in County Sligo, in being attuned to Irish folktales, myths and legends and the occult, Yeats as a poet reposes in the Irish lore and Irishness for a soothing influence away from the humdrum of life, the monotony and drudgery of it. One from the Anglo-Irish descent, he is a Protestant with a standing of own to contradict and refute to conform. His mind can go nowhere barring Ireland where he was born, where grew up to be man, was educated and reared, felt to feel it personally and privately to reflect upon. The poem is just like Martha of Walter de la Mare, Sea Fever by John Masefield, Look, Stranger by W.H. Auden and Ode on Solitude by Alexander Pope. Away from the circuit of civilization, he wants to move away just like Lawrence writes in Sea and Sardinia and other travelogues. The magic and charm of dream and imagery take him away from. None but a daydreamer or a night dreamer can write such a poem. The dreamy surface and the visionary glide of the poem are marvellous together with the tell-tale narrative and the make believe element inherent in it.
The poet will arise and will go for Innisfree where in the calm surrounding of the lake and the land mass he will build a small cabin made from clay and wattles and will settle to see and observe and nine beans he will plant. A hive for the bees too will be there and he will like to live alone with the bees hovering around imaginatively and gliding along. The scene is one of pollen scattering and dreamy glides taken. Where does he want to go in search of peace, silence and content?
He will have peace, peace enthralling the heart, peace, all around peace dripping as the drops of dew or honey. The peace of mind, the peace of heart, the peace of soul, it is all that he seeks for and he will feel complacent. It takes time to settle and to be at peace and so is the atmosphere and environment of Innisfree, the landscape and scenery of it. The morning time and its silence, the mist uncovering and the light getting visible, the start of day with a freshness of its own, how to take to?
Wherever he goes to, he carries with him the imagery of the water dripping, spilling from the shore to the lake with a flow, murmur and babble of own. He may not be there, but the music still does for him. He has not forgotten the images and landscapes seen and enjoyed as they remain still captured in his heart, the images restored in. The album of Innisfree, the still photos taken and snapped, he cannot forget them poetically. He may be away from in his busy life of dull routines and schedules, but his heart still goes to Innisfree to draw the inspiration from. The midnight is but a glimmer and the noon a purple glow and the evening a linnet’s wings.
Sometimes man confides in nature to get the inner counsel and wisdom. Silence has also the notes of its own. This is what constitutes his soul which is lodged in the body. Nowhere can man find joy besides the beauties and bounties of nature which are but a permanent source of happiness and the other thing is this that man is but an indivisible part of nature. The mind recomposes itself in silence and silence gives consent. The poem if to see it otherwise reminds us of The Brook by Alfred Lord Tennyson. The poetic pictures take us to the description of Lucy half-hidden from the world just like a daisy by the mossy rock in Lost Love. There is something of dream allegory as well as dream sequence in it.
The Irish setting and the Irish background give a befitting imagery to the poem as the natural scenery is pictorial and scenic no doubt in evoking scenes, pictures and images. There is music in the words which is so captivating and charming enough. Without knowing Innisfree one may not do justice to the poem and if one can explain it, everything will be clear to us.