The Lake Isle of Innisfree

by William Butler Yeats

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Yeats conveys a profound message to the people of the city in his poem "The Lake Isle of Innisfree." Discuss the message and its significance as relevant to the current situations in the world.

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The poem "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" by William Butler Yeats is the daydream of a city-dweller for a quiet life on a remote island. He would build a cabin, plant beans, and keep bees. Instead of city noises, he would hear the buzzing of bees, the singing of crickets, and water lapping upon the lakeshore. The poet lives in the city amidst the roadways and grey pavements, and yet this vision of the beauty of nature is deep within his heart.

The Isle of Innisfree is a real island on a lake in Ireland, and when Yeats was a child, he used to go there during the summers. He got the inspiration for the poem while walking on a busy street in London. Something jogged his memory, and he remembered the beauty of the isle.

Not all residents of urban areas can suddenly pick up and move to a remote isle and plant beans to survive. The message that Yeats gives to city-dwellers in this poem is that they can carry memories of beautiful places in their hearts even when they are in the midst of the noise, grime, and confusion of the city. As for current situations in the world, the message remains the same. Sometimes tensions arise because people get their eyes too much on their present circumstances. If they think back to better times and places, or look ahead to good things to come, they can get past the present difficulties with more peace, compromise, and magnanimity.

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