What are the effects of line length in "The Lake Isle of Innisfree"? 

1 Answer | Add Yours

wordprof's profile pic

wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

The rhythms of Yeats’ poems are simple in one respect, but they imitate the thought process of the first-person narrator.  In this case, for example, the reminiscences and dreams of the narrator are expressed in the first three lines of each stanza, but then the last line comes out shorter because the narrator drifts off into Innisfree in his mind, changing from outward description, expression, and communication to inward musings and projections. The last stanza, for example, goes from future tense description-- “I will arise…” to the present tense state of being—“I hear it in the deep heart’s core.”    The final line of all Yeats’ poems are memorable, perfect expressions of the poems’ flavor:  “Slouching toward Bethlehem to be born”, “And hid his face among a crowd of stars”, “How can we know the dancer from the dance?”  Line length, for Yeats, represents the length of the mental musings they depict.  

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,944 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question