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The Lake Isle of Innisfree, by W. B. Yeats – No 1 Irish Poem

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W. B. Yeats is back once again! Around two years ago, or 100ish weeks, I set out to cover 100 Irish poems from the Irish times’ list. Writing as best I could about what they are about and the history behind them. I can’t believe it has come to the final poem on the list! Number 1! Of course, I had to leave number 1 until last, and I am not surprised it is yet another poem by W.B. Yeats. He appears multiple times on the top 100 list, and each poem is incredibly powerful and unique. 

I have been sharing a new Irish poem every Friday on my weekly dose of Irish, and moving forward, I will be focusing on poems focused on events and different seasons of the year. 

So what is the poem The Lake Isle of Innisfree all about?

The Song Of Wandering Aengus, by W. B. Yeats - Top Irish Poem Summary

Picture of a lake not from the Lake Isle of Innisfree

Yeats wrote this poem in three stanzas with only 121 words and managed to get ranked number 1 out of 100 other Irish poems so first of all, well done to him! The main theme of this poem is nature versus civilisation; Yeats wrote the poem in 1888 and first published it in the National Observer in 1890. 

The poem is about nature, but it also suggests that the speaker also desires to go on a spiritual journey within the now of the poem itself. Which I find comes much more evident in the second stanza. What else is there to say about this wonderful poem but to share it with you? Enjoy, and be sure to share. 


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.

I hope you enjoyed this wonderful poem by W. B. Yeats it has been a pleasure sharing all of these poems with you. You can see all 100 Irish poems here. Be sure to share this and subscribe to my weekly dose of Irish here. 

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