Monday, August 15, 2011

Tuesday Poem - 'The Lake Isle of Innisfree' by W. B. Yeats

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

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 honeybee,
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 gray,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

This was one of the poems I learnt that first year of learning poems. I love the agrarian romanticism that's expressed in it and the specificity of what is needed for a simple life - nine bean rows, a hive for the honey bee...I love the sounds at the poem's centre, the slowed-down life of contemplation  echoed in those lovely evocations of a tangible peace.

I'm currently in Brisbane - the city I grew up in. If there's ever a time for nostalgia it's when you return somewhere you spent those difficult years between childhood and adulthood. Passing a couple leaning into each other on a park bench this morning, I remembered that intensity - when the world stops with you, holds its breath as you fall in love and kiss. So really, I should have posted a love poem here. Although 'Lake Isle of Innisfree' is a love poem - to an idea, a place and a time. Maybe I should write a love poem to Brisbane and my younger self?


Harvey Molloy said...

This is one of my favourite poems.

Jo said...

'Maybe I should write a love poem to Brisbane etc' ... I wish you would. I love Brisbane, but it's my late 20s I feel romantic about, which was when I lived there a short time.

Cattyrox said...

It's one of mine, too, Harvey - I can remember my mother and her partner reciting when we bought a small block of land in Queensland and were going to subsistence live.

Cattyrox said...

I'll give the love poem to Brisbane some thought, Jo - I was here until my mid-twenties. It's all so different and so much the same!

Mary McCallum said...

One of my favourites too - the poem and lovely Yeats.