The Lake Isle of Innisfree Questions and Answers
by William Butler Yeats

Start Your Free Trial

How does the poet describe the noon, the evening, and the night at Innisfree?

Expert Answers info

Jay Gilbert, Ph.D. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Lecturer

bookB.A. from University of Oxford

bookM.A. from University of Oxford

bookPh.D. from University of Leicester

calendarEducator since 2017

write2,289 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

I assume you are asking about William Butler Yeats's poem "The Lake Isle of Innisfree."

This is a very evocative poem: the speaker is expressing his yearning to return to this place where he has so enjoyed losing himself in the sights and sounds of nature. He imagines himself building a cabin for himself, and keeping bees, living by himself but in a glade which is "bee-loud," reminding him that he is actually surrounded by nature, even in his solitude. This noise does not constitute a disturbance to him: instead, he imagines that he will have "peace" in Innisfree.

He describes the different times of day in terms of their color and appearance. At noon, he says there will be a "purple glow," while midnight is "all a glimmer" and, in the evening, the place is "full of the linnet's wings." These are brief details, but help us to picture the place in our mind, populated by linnets and glimmering in the moonlight.

The speaker notes that at all times, "night and day," he is thinking about the sound of water lapping against the shores at Innisfree, a sound he hears deep in his heart.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial