Introduction to the poem
This poem is a lyric. It is a musical poem. It explores the poet’s longing for the peace and tranquility of Innisfree, a place where he spent a lot of time as a boy.Innisfree is the name of a place. It is a very quiet place and that is the reason the poet wants to go there. He had spent his childhood in this place. He has very sweet memories of that place, that is why he wanted to go back to the lake island of Innisfree.
Poem and Explanation
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.
arise: stand up
wattles: twisted sticks for making fences, walls
glade: clearing, open space
Bee loud refers to the sound made by the buzzing of the bees.
‘I’ here refer to the poet William Yeats. He says that he wants to go to Innisfree.Over there, he will build a small room for himself with clay and small sticks which are used to make the walls or the fences of the cabin. As he will need some food to eat also, so he will grow nine rows of beans near his room. Also, he will get the honey from the honey bee hive. He says that the open space, where he will build his room will be full of the buzzing sound of the bees an over there he will live all alone, in peace and tranquility.
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 evenings full of the linnet’s wings.
veils: a piece of fine material worn by women to protect or hide the face
cricket: an insect related to the grasshoppers but with shorter legs. The male produces a characteristic musical chirping sound.
linnet: a small brown and grey bird with a short beak
glimmer means something which is shining.
In this stanza the poet says that when in Innisfree, he will feel peaceful, and he says that the feeling of peace is felt slowly and gradually. He describes how he would feel peaceful. In the morning time, when it is cloudy, and the view is not very clear, then it will appear as if the morning has worn a veil and has hidden itself. Looking at this scene will make him feel peaceful. Further he says that when the male cricket insect will sing a song, that sound will bring him at peace. Also, at midnight when he will see the twinkling stars in the open sky, their shine will give him peace. In the afternoon, when the sun light will give a purplish glow, it will also give him peace. During the evening, when he will see the linnet bird flying in the sky, then also he will feel peaceful.
I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear the 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.
night and day: all the time
heart’s core: the innermost part of the heart
In this stanza the poet says that now he will stand up and go to Innisfree because all the time, the sound of the lake waters striking the shore repeats in his mind. This sound attracts him towards the lake. Wherever he is – either standing on the roadway or on the grey - coloured pavements, he hears the sound deep in the innermost part of his heart.
Literary Devices in the poem
1.Rhyme Scheme: abab
2.Alliteration: The repetition of a consonant sound in two or more closely placed words is called alliteration. The instances of alliteration in the poem are –
a.‘hive’, ‘honey bee’ - ‘h’ sound is repeated;
b.‘lake’, ‘lapping’, ‘low’ - ‘l’ sound is repeated
3.Repetition: ‘I will arise and go now’ is repeated in stanza 1 and 3
4.Personification: morning is personified
5.Metaphor: clouds are compared to veils