Lakeisle of Innisfree

Timothy Ernst
Mrs. Thompson
English 1002
What is your Innisfree?
In the poem “Lake Isle of Innisfree,” William Butler Yeats is trying to convey a simple theme to the reader. A theme of peaceful independence; the remembrance of a place where one can go to find solitude and get away from the grind of everyday life. Yeats uses alliteration, imagery, paradoxical diction, and rhyme scheme to create his theme of peaceful independence.
The poem itself is a description of that perfect place Yeats goes to whenever he desires peace and quiet from the hurry-up-and-do-it-now world in which he lived. The diction used by Yeats when combined with the imagery of the poem conveys his sense of contentment and wonder when just thinking of his “Innisfree.” Phrasing such as “bee-loud glade,” “midnight’s all a glimmer,” and “noon a purple glow” give the reader a paradoxical image of the feeling of peace as he juxtaposes the contrasting images. Bees are not usually considered loud, nor does midnight glimmer or noon have a purple glow. Yeats use of these phrases in the poem reinforces the peaceful nature of the cabin on the lake. If one is in the countryside, a beehive can seem loud when compared to the still silence of nature. On a clear night the stars can cause the sky to glimmer, especially in the country setting of Innisfree. And the peace and quiet of the cabin at noon can bring memories of the purple quiet of night. By juxtaposing these seemingly opposite ideas, Yeats draws the reader’s attention to looking beyond the obvious and focusing on the deeper meaning he wishes to covey.
The first quatrain of the poem creates the dominant image of the poem and demonstrates Yeats’ long for peace. By describing his cabin being made of “clay” and “wattles,” he is giving the image of a house in its simplest and oldest form. It is taking him back to the days where life was easy, quiet, and solitary. Living in London, Yeats was thrust into a world of nonstop urban expansion....