IDEAL ESCAPE — Yeats’ Lake Isle of Innisfree

Dear friend, Jeanette Hooban, home from recent far-flung travels which included Ireland, sent me her picture of the birthplace of William Butler Yeats.  Stunning to think that, without that humble abode, I would not have one my all-time favorite poems.

Copying it to send to Jeanette, suggesting that we two re-read Yeats in this isolate time, and write to each other about favorites, I realize – THIS is where I’d like to be in a time of microbes! Where do YOU wish YOU were?

Lake Isle of Innisfree with castle

Surely, the risk of Corona-ruin is minimal at Yeats’ Isle.  Othewise, , what a way to go!

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 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.
***
Somewhere, –being deeply infused with matters Thoreauvian–, I read that Yeats wrote this about Thoreau’s year (well, two years compressed into one) at Walden. Hence the ‘nine bean rows’, which ultimately became too much for Thoreau in his haven.
Lake Isle of Innisfrfee with canoe
This is a boat near Yeats’ paradise. Henry’s joy was boating on Walden pond, even playing his flute for the fish.
Lake Isle of Innisfree Scene

2 thoughts on “IDEAL ESCAPE — Yeats’ Lake Isle of Innisfree

  1. We share a love of Yeats! I used to live in County Cork and there are multitudinous islands off the West Coast of Ireland that would certainly suffice to weather out this storm. Garnish Island would do it with it’s extraordinary gardens designed by Peto. No house was ever built but I’m sure I could make a fine shelter there ….

  2. Osyth, one of the most thrilling aspects of this dire time is that somehow you and I were meant to connect! I do not know Ireland — France (Provence/Normandy/Brittany) and Cornwall are my heart’s homes.

    I try to treat New Jersey as being in that realm – honoring her through NJWILDBEAUTY, as you know. Osyth, a dear friend of mine, Janet Black, (psychologist/author/poet with new books to prove her worth) of Manhattan, was triggered by our Yeats interaction to send me this poem. It could have been written to her…

    I did not know it, nor that Yeats himself is so beautiful! Who would think a plague would teach me such important matters. With you — and think you likely resonate to this one, also:

    When You Are Old
    W. B. Yeats – 1865-1939

    When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
    And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
    And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
    Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

    How many loved your moments of glad grace,
    And loved your beauty with love false or true,
    But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,
    And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

    And bending down beside the glowing bars,
    Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled
    And paced upon the mountains overhead
    And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

    (Amicalement, Carolyn)

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