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

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What desire is expressed by the persona in the first line?

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In the first line of the poem, the persona or speaker expresses a determination more than a desire. The speaker states, “I will arise and go.” The destination given is Innisfree, which the speaker says later is on the shore of a lake. From the title, we learn further that Innisfree is an island in a lake. The desire that accompanies the determination is slowly revealed through the poem. The speaker states that they “will live alone” in the cabin they build, and that by doing so, “I shall have some peace.” In the last stanza, the speaker repeats their intention to “arise and go” and then finally provides a powerful motivation for going to the island. When they are on a road or on the city’s “pavements gray,” the lake and island exert a pull on their heart: they hear “the lake water lapping . . . in the deep heart's core.”

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