The Lake Isle of Innisfree

by William Butler Yeats

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What does "the bee-loud glade" mean in "The Lake Isle of Innisfree"?

Quick answer:

In "The Lake Isle of Innisfree," the "bee-loud glade" describes the poet's imagined home on the lake isle, where he will hear the drone and buzz of bees surrounding the hive he dreams of putting there.

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As the poem opens, the speaker imagines going to the idyllic lake isle of Innisfree. In this first stanza, he envisions building a small house there and planting nine rows of beans. He also dreams of having a bee hive, so he can have honey. When he says he will "live alone in the bee-loud glade," he means he will hear the buzz of all the bees around the hive in the "glade" or open space near his house.

Except for the sounds of insects, such as bees and crickets, the speaker's imagined isle home will be silent. Life will slow down, as it does when one listens to the drowsy buzz of bees, and the speaker will experience peace.

At the end of the poem, we realize that the lake isle of Innisfree is the speaker's "happy place," an imaginary spot in which he can escape the stresses of urban life. In actuality, he thinks of the isle while he is standing on the sidewalk or by a busy "roadway." There he listens to a different kind of noise but evades its stress by letting his mind wander to his isle. It is only in his "deep heart's core" that he hears the slow and steady drone of the bees.

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