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September 11, 2009

The Lake Isle of Innisfree


Introduction

First published in the collection The Rose in 1893,"The Lake Isle of Innisfree" is an example of Yeats's earlier lyric poems. As an adult, Yeats often yearned for the quiet life in his native place Sligo, where he spent many boyhood days at Innisfree island on the lake Lough Gill. His carefree days there inspired Yeats to write "The Lake Isle of Innisfree." In his autobiography, however, Yeats wrote that his poem was influenced by his reading of the American writer Henry David Thoreau's Walden (1854), which describes Thoreau's experiment of living alone in a small hut in the woods on Walden Pond, outside Concord, Massachusetts.


 

Text

Main Text Bangla Translation
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.
আমি এখন জেগে উঠব এবং যাব ইনিসফ্রিতে,
আর বানাব সেথায় এক ছোট্ট কুটির কাদা ও বেড়ায়:
সেথায় থাকবে আমার নয়টি শিম-ঝার এবং একটি মৌচাক,
আর করব একাকী বাস সেই মধুকর-মুখরিত মুক্ত প্রান্তরে।
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.
আর সেথায় আমি কিছুটা শান্তি পাব, কারন শান্তি আসে ধীরলয়ে,
ফোঁটায় ফোঁটায় আকাশের প্রচ্ছন্নতা হতে ঝিঁঝিঁ গুঞ্জরিত স্হানে;
নিশীত সেথায় ম্লান, আর মধ্যাহ্ন হল রক্তাভ,
আর সন্ধাকাল লিনেটের ডানা ঝাপটানোয় মুখরিত।
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.
আমি এখন জেগে উঠব এবং যাব, কেননা দিন-রাত সর্বক্ষন
আমি শুনি তীরে আছরে পড়া হ্রদের পানির মৃদু তরঙ্গ ভঙ্গের আওয়াজ;
যখনই আমি দাড়াই সড়ক পথে, অথবা ধুসর ফুটপাতে,
হৃদয়ের অন্তস্থলের গভীরেও আমি কেবল তাহাই শুনি।

Notes

Innisfree- a small island on the lake Lough Gill near Yeats' native place Sligo in northwestern Ireland.

Wattle - stakes or poles interwoven with branches and twigs, used for walls, fences, and roofs, বেড়া.

Hive - home for bees, মৌচাক.

Glade - an area in a wood or forest without trees or bushes, ফাঁকা প্রান্তর.

Cricket - a leaping chirping insect, ঝিঁঝিঁ পোকা.

Linnet - a small brownish songbird of the finch family that lives in Europe, Africa, and Asia.

Commentary

The discussional poem is a romantic poem. It is moulded on escapism, a dominant feature of romantic poetry. Broadly speaking, the poem echoes one of the basic yearnings of every human heart, that is, to escape from the harsh reality of the materialistic life to a Utopian world. In this poem we see that the poet is dissatisfied as well as bored with his earthly life. To escape from the chaos and corrupting influences of civilisation the poet longs to go to the magnificent dreamland of Innisfree. In the canvas of imagination the poet conceives of building his own miniature world where there will be a cottage built of clay and wattles. Nine bean rows will provide him with food and a beehive will supply him honey. And he further imagines that the Nature's free agent the cricket and the linnet will be his companion for solitude. The poet feels that this refuge will ensure him a carefree life. The poet is determined to go the magical island because regardless of day or night, he hears the hypnotic call of that dreamland in the innermost core of his heart.

Study Questions

Q.1. What is Innisfree?

Ans. Innisfree is a Utopia, an alternative route for the poet to escape from the disturbance of the materialistic life. But it is not entirely an imaginative setting, rather it is an island near Yeats' native place Sligo in northwestern Ireland. Yeats used this island as a symbolic place of tranquility and solace, which is remote from the busy city of London.

Q.2.Why does the poet want to go to Innisfree?

Ans. The poet wants to go to Innisfree with a view to escape from the stark realitites of earthly life. He has become weary of the bustling environment in the London city. As a result, he yearns to go to the lonely isle of Innisfree in search of complete peace and solitude.

Q.3. What does the poet want to do there?

Ans. In Innisfree the poet wants to build for himself a small cottage of clay and wattles. He also wants to have his own vegetable garden for the supply of food and a beehive for honey.

Q.4. What does the poet hear in the depth of his heart?

Ans. The poet hears in the depth of his heart the alluring sound of the waves gently washing the shore.

Q.5. What vivid and colourful picture of nature do you find in the poem, "The Lake Isle of Innisfree"?

Ans. Yeats' poems are replete with wonderful nature imagery. The poem, "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" is no exception in this respect. It presents a wide range of vivid and flamboyant pictures of nature that appeals our sense of sight, hearing simultaneously. The misty morning, the light of the moon and the stars glimmering through the veil of mist at the midnight, the purple glow of the sun at noon delight our eyes. Then the song of cricket in the morning, the musical sound of the flutter of the wings of the linnet returning to their nests in the evening and the sound of the lake water washing the shores continuously amuse our ears.

Suggested Study Questions

Q.1.How succesfully does Yeats blend romantic escapism with realism in his poem, "The Lake Isle of Innisfree"?
Q.2.Write a note on the rhythmical structure used by Yeats in his poem The "Lake Isle of Innisfree"?
Q.3.Find out the autobiographical elements in the poem "The Lake Isle of Innisfree".
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