from: LiveABC No.105

--Brian Foden

 Poetry has the power both to entertain and do inform us. With its imagery, a poem can also make us feel deeply. In my opinion, one of the greatest poets is William Butler Yeats, and my favorite poem of his is "The Lake Isle of Innisfree."

 I enjoy this poem so much because of the peaceful feelings that it evokes. Yeats writes about wishing to go to a small island and build a cabin and garden. He uses images of honeybee hives, crickets, and birds to create a clear picture of the natural world.

 In each stanza, every other line rhymes. This contrast of sound in each quatrain reflects the contrast between the natural world and city life. Near the end of the poem, Yeats mentions the pavements gray" of the road he is standing on. The lifeless color of the city is very different from the "glimmer" and "purple glow" of Innisfree in the second stanza.

 "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" is a very personal poem. While growing up, Yeats spend summers with his grandparents in Sligo, Ireland, where the lake island Innisfree lies. Therefore, the poem also features another contrast: between Yeats's childhood and adult life. More specifically, it is about longing for the simple life he had as a child.

 Born in 1865 in Dublin, Ireland, Yeats became known as one of the most important writers in the world. "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" was written early in Yeats's career, and it was published in 1893. Yeats went on to write many important works. In 1923, his talent earned him the Nobel Prize in Literature. In addition to being a poet. Yeats wrote a large amount of drama. He was one of the creators of Dublin's Abbey Theatre, which is still active today.

 Although "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" was written more than a century ago, it is one of the most recognized poems in the English language. With its themes of childhood, aging, and the desire for nature, it is a poem that can stir the emotions of almost anyone.

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