The Lake Isle of Innisfree by William Butler Yeats

Portrait of William Butler Yeats by John Singer Sargent.

Portrait of William Butler Yeats by John Singer Sargent, 1908.

In this brief radio broadcast from the 1930’s, William Butler Yeats explains how he prefers to have his poem read, and then he reads a few of his poems, including “The Lake Isle of Innisfree.” Although the quality of the recording isn’t excellent, it is very interesting to hear him explain the background of the various poems.

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

– W.B. Yeats

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More William Butler Yeats poetry

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