Aug 26, 2022 • 6M
The Lake Isle of Innisfree
William Butler Yeats, 1893
Poetry Aloud will help you learn how to read poetry with your ears. Unlike children with bad table manners, poetry is meant to be heard and not just seen. Join Anthony Esolen every other week (or so) as he introduces and discusses a longish poem and then reads it aloud.
This week’s Poetry Aloud is the lovely “The Lake Isle of Innisfree,” by the Irish-English poet William Butler Yeats. He’s in the city, and he wishes instead he were in a more human place, which is, ironically, on a small island in the middle of a lake, where he can be alone with himself, and the beans he grows, and the bees he keeps for their honey. It’s a short poem — and perfect.
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 …
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