What kind of world does the poet want to create and why? 

Expert Answers
Vikash Lata eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The world the poet imagines is very simple and small and it would be located on the island of Innisfree in Ireland. It would have only one 'cabin' and the only inhabitant would be the poet himself. He himself would build that cabin out of “clay and wattles.” He would have a little bean garden and a beehive for honeybees.

 There midnight would “glimmer” and noon would have “a purple glow.” In the evening a swarm of linnets would visit his place. His imagined world has a dreamy and fairy tale-like ambience which is often dreamt by us when we are fed up with the monotony and dreariness of our existence.

The reason to shift to another world is simple - it’s for peace. At the start of the second stanza, the poets states,

.“And I shall have some peace there...”

Longing for a life in the company of nature away from the din of cities has been a common theme in the Romantic poetry. The Lake Isle of Innisfree, composed in 1888, typifies the features of late romanticism as it takes up this theme of escape to nature as its central thought.

Though the poet doesn't specify what actually bothers him in the city, it is understood that he wants to escape the mechanical and monotonous routine of urban life. He longs for a state of tranquility where he would discover and experience the inner peace that the hullabaloo of the city has always denied him.

He longs to explore and experience the spiritual joy that Henry David Thoreau did in his over two year long isolated stay in the woods near Walden Pond. In his autobiography, Yeats admits that he draws inspiration from Thoreau, who was an American poet, essayist, philosopher and a leading transcendentalist, wishes to ‘imitate’ him,

 “I had still the ambition, formed in Sligo in my teens, of living in imitation of Thoreau on Innisfree, a little island in Lough Gill…’

In his childhood days, the poet loved to visit the lake in the summer. This poem is ripe with the element of nostalgia.

It is clear that the poet wants to escape from the restlessness and business of urban life. He wishes to seclude himself in the serene and tranquil world of nature where there would no sign of industrialization and modernity. Even his house would be made of clay and wattles. The songs of crickets and the buzzing of bees would replace the clamor of the city.  His only job would be to observe the graceful nature and revel in the spiritual experience.

Read the study guide:
The Lake Isle of Innisfree

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question