An evening full of the linnet’s wings

The lake isle of Innisfree
A poem by William Butler Yeats

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.

One of the more popular poems of Yeats, the poem shines for the pure pleasure of reading aloud,with all the alliterations and the music of the words. The imagery is simple but very evocative, arising from single words:

Arise : The visual picture of a poet arising from slumber
And Go :A physical act of moving away from the city’s hubbub to the tranquility of Innisfree
Now : Go is space,now time
Alone: Noise-free in bee-loudness, general silence highlighting the buzz of bees, substituting the city buzz with bee buzz
Nine: Why nine? because it rhymes with hive, buzzing with “n” s in “nine”,”bean”,”honey”, “alone”
Loud: All the noise is x’ed out except the bee buzz, that is loud in the glade, the “d”s coming on top of the “n”s
Lake water lapping with low sounds:
Close your eyes and hear the gentle lapping of the lake waves against the shore, aided and abetted by “l”s repeated

Sensory experiences:
“evening full of linnet’s wings” :auditory experience of the flutter of wings aided by “n”s repeated
“peace comes dropping slow” :An abstract idea of peace described as dropping, like a bird feather gently dropping, not whoosh sound but a quite slow descent
“I hear it in the deep heart’s core” : an auditory experience of listening to one’s own heart-beat in a perfectly sound-free environment

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