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Thread: Lake Isle of Innisfree

  1. #1
    Grand Nagus Vada Dagon's Avatar
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    Lake Isle of Innisfree

    My favorite Poem of all time.
    Makes me want to go to the Lake Isle of Innisfree.

    However, is he going there to die or to be reborn?
    Perhaps in was a real and imaginary place at the same time. A place that one can go in their mind based on a true peacful place.


    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 mourning 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.

    I do have some questions though (as much as I love this poem) about some of the words within the poem.

    nine bean-rows - What is this referring to? Is this nine rows of beans to cultivate or is this something else?

    and wattles made - Anyone know what a wattle is? I know it sounds so good that we think we know the meaning but what is a wattle? Well I looked it up and it is a matt of woven (willow) sticks and weeds used in wall and dike construction. (http://www.castlesontheweb.com/glossary.html)
    or from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/

    wat·tle (wtl)
    n.
    1.
    a. A construction of poles intertwined with twigs, reeds, or branches, used for walls, fences, and roofs.
    b. Material used for such construction.

    Just some random thought on the subject.

  2. #2
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    Lake Isle of Innisfree

    Less than a week ago, my stepfather died. During the last week of his life he requested different poets for me to bring to the hospital. One was Yeats. He asked me to read this poem. However, as I began, so did he, to recite it, by heart. At this moment, I was still believing the doctors, which meant believing my wonderful stepdad would live. But my stepfather was also a physician and I believe he knew he was dying. That's why he requested this beautiful poem, Lake Isle of Innisfree. My step father's family was from Ireland. Like Yeats, he and his family were Protestant, but rejected what that stood for, and supported the cause for Irish independence. He will be greatly missed, but he left behnd one more lesson for me--a chance to learn about this great poet and the others he requested during his last days with us.

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    Lake Isle of Innisfree

    Less than a week ago, my stepfather died. During the last week of his life he requested different poets for me to bring to the hospital. One was Yeats. He asked me to read this poem. However, as I began, so did he, to recite it, by heart. At this moment, I was still believing the doctors, which meant believing my wonderful stepdad would live. But my stepfather was also a physician and I believe he knew he was dying. That's why he requested this beautiful poem, Lake Isle of Innisfree. My step father's family was from Ireland. Like Yeats, he and his family were Protestant, but rejected what that stood for, and supported the cause for Irish independence. He will be greatly missed, but he left behind one more lesson for me--a chance to learn about this great poet and the others he requested during his last days with us.

  4. #4
    Grand Nagus Vada Dagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathyr View Post
    Less than a week ago, my stepfather died. During the last week of his life he requested different poets for me to bring to the hospital. One was Yeats. He asked me to read this poem. However, as I began, so did he, to recite it, by heart. At this moment, I was still believing the doctors, which meant believing my wonderful stepdad would live. But my stepfather was also a physician and I believe he knew he was dying. That's why he requested this beautiful poem, Lake Isle of Innisfree. My step father's family was from Ireland. Like Yeats, he and his family were Protestant, but rejected what that stood for, and supported the cause for Irish independence. He will be greatly missed, but he left behind one more lesson for me--a chance to learn about this great poet and the others he requested during his last days with us.
    I'm sorry to hear about your stepfather passing away. I don't know what your beliefs are and it is certainly easy for me to say since it was not my loss. However, my belief is that those who we truly love and love us will always remain with us. I don't mean in some strange in creepy way but as a presence that you will know from time to time. I've had three people with whom I've had a close relationship (My Greatgrandmother, my grandfather, and my cousin) pass away. My greatgrandmother was one of my most favorite people on this planet and periodically she will come and talk to me in my dreams.

    I know it may sound silly and that perhaps they are only dreams, and yet I always feel that she is right there with me during those dreams. I've had the same experience with my grandfather and my cousin. Although, I do have to say my cousin has moved on but her death was sudden and tragic at a age when she was too young.

    I realize you posted your reply in July and we are now at the end of August. I apologize for my delay but I've had my hands a little more than full. Hope you are doing well and once again I want to thank you for your response.

  5. #5
    Registered User penelopea's Avatar
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    Interesting................
    May I add my impressions?
    Did you ever hear the recording of Yeats reading his work ?Its an incantation.
    I find it very hard to associate his work with his biography and when I do so Innisfree becomes just another Hippy churnning for the simple life.
    If you are in Irac,I can understand your yearning for the green wetlands!
    I took a balloon flight last winter and as we broke the cloud canopy Yeats' Irish Airman hit my mind ,immediately.
    I'm dealing with death at the moment .My Mother struggled to death and has left me feeling very morbid. You hold people in your mind for a while,but when you let go they are lost .Who'se holding my ancestors? they are just anonymous genes in my body. Deaths' a tragedy for all living things. Lifes bad joke.
    Yeats' death was a mix up too. Pitiful humans.

  6. #6
    Grand Nagus Vada Dagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by penelopea View Post
    Interesting................
    May I add my impressions?
    Did you ever hear the recording of Yeats reading his work ?Its an incantation.
    I find it very hard to associate his work with his biography and when I do so Innisfree becomes just another Hippy churnning for the simple life.
    If you are in Irac,I can understand your yearning for the green wetlands!
    I took a balloon flight last winter and as we broke the cloud canopy Yeats' Irish Airman hit my mind ,immediately.
    I'm dealing with death at the moment .My Mother struggled to death and has left me feeling very morbid. You hold people in your mind for a while,but when you let go they are lost .Who'se holding my ancestors? they are just anonymous genes in my body. Deaths' a tragedy for all living things. Lifes bad joke.
    Yeats' death was a mix up too. Pitiful humans.
    Hey Penlopea,

    I discovered The Lake Isle of Innisfree back in 2000 (long before I even thought of being in Iraq) and it just found a place in my heart. Until then I had no interest in Yeats or any of his poems or writings. The area I am in is greener than what you might expect or believe to be. Do I yearn to live in a solitary island by myself? Not really, is just a peaceful sense the poem gives (which is referring to death or waiting for death).
    However, I believe that those in our lives who we truly love are attached to us and vice versa. I don't think genes are the only thing keeping your ancestors, but those are my beliefs.
    However, pitiful the human race is we have still managed to survive and rise above the clouds of reason and be able to see beyond our fellow tenants on this little green dot we call earth. Despite all of our reason and understanding many of us have failed to grow beyond our egos and allow ourselves to be drawn into petty confrontations which hurt and sometimes even kill others.
    I am sorry to hear about your mother and I don't know how long ago has it been since you lost her. However, you may want to talk to her (or write her a letter) about all the things you couldn't say when she was alive and all the things you still want to talk about. If nothing else it will help you to release some of your distress from losing her.

    I hope you come to see her death as simple pass from one world to another.

  7. #7
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    This thread saddens me. Two people dealing with death, and I'd be very surprised if the same doesn't apply to Vada as well, in Iraq. I feel for you.
    I just want to say: Vada, he's not going there to die, nor be reborn, but live as a hermit, at one with nature. I've never been on Innisfree, I really must go to the West next time I'm home.

  8. #8
    Registered User penelopea's Avatar
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    Living at one with nature is a struggle with death .
    I live in the countyside and can guarantee that an animal's life is not a peaceful one ,but a continual fight for survival against disease,starvation or predator.
    This is why religion is such a strong issue with people who have hard,short lives.People need hope.
    The sad reality is that this is the only chance that you get.
    Life's not a rehearsal.
    If you have experienced enough death you will soon realise that afterlife is a palliative myth .
    Make this one count and dont trip over the bee hives.

  9. #9
    Grand Nagus Vada Dagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bre View Post
    This thread saddens me. Two people dealing with death, and I'd be very surprised if the same doesn't apply to Vada as well, in Iraq. I feel for you.
    I just want to say: Vada, he's not going there to die, nor be reborn, but live as a hermit, at one with nature. I've never been on Innisfree, I really must go to the West next time I'm home.
    Hello bre,
    I'm sorry this thread saddens you although it has taken to relating something about death. Yes, you are correct there is plenty of death around me and some of them I've known personally. However, I've dealt with death from the age of five and I've strived to come to terms with my own mortality even if I have yet to accept my limited time here, since I seem to live as if I'll be here forever.

    Living as a Hermit is something I could probably not do for-ever but wouldn't mind doing it for a while. Thank you for your kind post.

  10. #10
    Grand Nagus Vada Dagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by penelopea View Post
    Living at one with nature is a struggle with death .
    I live in the countyside and can guarantee that an animal's life is not a peaceful one ,but a continual fight for survival against disease,starvation or predator.
    This is why religion is such a strong issue with people who have hard,short lives.People need hope.
    The sad reality is that this is the only chance that you get.
    Life's not a rehearsal.
    If you have experienced enough death you will soon realise that afterlife is a palliative myth .
    Make this one count and dont trip over the bee hives.
    Hmmm, you make me smile. I can't help but think that if perhaps this wasn't our only chance that maybe we shouldn't make it count? Religion is a funny thing it inspires some to greatness like Johnathan Swift or others to horrible deeds, but I'm un-sure that those who live short and hard lives are the one's who embrace Religion. In my experience it has been those who have lived long lives (regardless of hard or not) and those who stare the Angel of Death in the face find the time to embrace Religion.

    Perhaps life is not a rehearsal, however I most certainly believe that although today's play is over, it will most certainly play again tomorrow but not for ever. There will be a day when the audience will get bored and the play must be moved to a different venue. Whether the new venue is uptown or downton it depends I suppose.

    I am not a religious man, but I am most certainly a Spiritual man. However, tripping over the bee hives is sometimes part of the fun. The best stories are told about those times in which someone tripped over the bee hive. No great story is told without some Honey being spilled.
    However, since I am not some great Sage nor do I have all the answer (just the one's you need) this is just my opinion.

  11. #11
    9 Bean Rows
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    9 Bean Rows - Meaning

    I have always understood the 9 bean rows refers to his desire to live a contented life, to have enough to live on, but not too much. Our wealth often demands more of us than it supplies. Contentment is achieved by recognizing God has given us more than we need in order to share with 'others' in need. In this poem however, Yeats expresses his desire to step off the merry go round of social life and retire to the quiet of solitude. This is important to do in today's noise-some world, but monastic life of itself seems selfish when taken to the extreme.

  12. #12
    Lady of Shalott
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    Hello! I studied this poem last year in Irish Literature subject during my English studies career.
    In this poem, Yeats states that he would go to Innisfree to build up a cabin and live there, in contact with nature and cultivate his own food with "nine bean-rows ", and also to fill his heart with the peace of the place and the nature beauties. He would do as Thoreau wrote in his book "In the woods". I hope it helps.

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