The Lake Isle of Innisfree Topics for Further Study
by William Butler Yeats

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Topics for Further Study

(Poetry for Students)

• Parodies are imitations of another work, written to deflate the subject matter of the original. Read Ezra Pound’s poem “The Lake Isle,” then write an essay explaining what his poem says about “The Lake Isle of Innisfree.”

• Write a detailed description of the place you would most like to call home, both the geographical location (e.g., New York City, French Riviera, etc.) and the kind of structure (e.g., a palace, a log cabin, a hut, etc.). What are the qualities of the home? What do these qualities say about your own values?

• Get together with your classmates and brainstorm ideas for your ideal house. If possible, sketch a floor plan. How does your idea of an ideal home differ from those of your classmates?

• What are some of the sights, smells, sounds that remind you of pleasant experiences in your life? When do they occur, and how do you respond when you encounter them?

• Yeats’s poem was influenced by his reading of Thoreau’s Walden. Make a list of books that have most influenced your own way of thinking, then write a short essay explaining how they have done so.

• Poll your classmates, asking them what place they most remember from childhood. Then categorize their responses. What do these places have in common? Why are they memorable? What does this tell you about your relationship to childhood?