Monday, March 2, 2015

Monday's Poetry: "The Lake Isle of Innisfree"

by Pa Rock
Poetry Appreciator

It's March already, the month that spring officially begins.  But this lingering snow - with the threat of freezing rain tomorrow - makes spring seem like a remote concept.  March does have many things going for it, including my birthday (#67) later in the month, and I have no doubt that by the end of the month those daffodil bulbs that I planted last fall will be up and out in all their glory.

March is also the month that brings out the Irish in us all with St. Patrick's Day on the 17th.  Back in 1999 The Irish Times newspaper conducted a poll of its readers to get their take on the best Irish poem of all time.  The newspaper then published a list of the 100 top vote-getters.  Six of the top ten were by Irish poet William Butler Yeats - including the number one pick:  "The Lake Isle of Innisfree," a poem that Yeats wrote at the young age of twenty-three while he was living in London. The piece expressed his longing to return to a simpler lifestyle.

With a tip of the hat to the fine people of the Emerald Isle and their many cousins in America, here is a much revered work of Irish poetry:

The Lake Isle of Innisfree
by William Butler Yeats

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.

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