Word Pools and Escape in W.B .Yeats' The Lake Isle of Innisfree!
Submitted by Janet Lewison on 12 May 2011
Everyone dreams of a special place of escape. A place we can escape to when the confines of the world seem weighty and suffocating. I am always curious about car drivers who stop on the busy road outside my house apparently borrowing time: sometimes just reading a paper, sometimes on the 'phone, sometimes and perhaps moretimes, just sat for a few minutes contemplating space. Finding a moment and finding a moment refreshed by new perpectives and thoughts regenerates even the most cynical and tired. Our word pools reflect who we are are and where we are and why we are. And if our word pools are stagnant and bleak, then so are we. I have always loved Yeats' poem 'The Lake Isle of Innisfree'- even when I didn't know it! Its first line must have landed in my mind like some shining gift of a space craft and looking at it again this morning , I read it out aloud and felt my headache and grumpiness start to melt away. And I can feel the peace and joy of the words still lingering about me hours later. Like meditation or trance or even prayer. '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 honeybee, 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 gray, I hear it in the deep heart's core. 1892 We escape into the poem and become 'I' again. Perhaps we have lost our sense of being 'I' and so we ascend as I up and away into this place, this repeated promise of a 'there' where we can build a sanctuary for our 'I' and recover and discover again... How artfully vague the small cabin and the wattles and how blissfully expansive the nine bean rows. Our imagination is gently invited to build whatever we want, there and there and there...to free up our word pools again, to create our 'small cabin' of escape, of hope. of mental freedom... And for me, for my I seeking solitude and healing, the magical words that captivate and endure are: 'And live alone in the bee-loud glade.' Listening to the vowels in this hypnotic word pool I feel peace expanding within me...like honey ! A mind , my mind, your mind, mapping itself anew in luminous colours, with freshly found co-ordinates, pooling words as miraculous promises of personal heaven.