THE LAKE ISLE OF INNISFREE
By- W.B. Yeats
LONG ANSWER QUESTIONS
(to be answered in about 100 – 150 words each)
Q1. How does the poet capture the sights and sounds of the Lake Isle of Innisfree?
Ans:-The poet, W.B. Yeats, had spent many summers during his childhood on the Lake Isle of Innisfree. His memories are so vivid that the sights and sounds seem to have left an indelible impression on his mind. He beautifully portrays the vast, open stretch of land with a very tranquil environment prevailing from morning till evening. The midnight is aglow with the glimmering of the moon and the stars. The noons are bright with a purplish light. In the evening, the linnets, fluttering their wings in flight make a very captivating sight.
The Lake Isle of Innisfree echoes with the alluring, soothing music of the insects, birds and waves. The bees sing loudly and the linnets make the evenings energetic with their music. Moreover, there is soft music of the waves striking gently against the shore day and night. Thus, the sights and sounds described by the poet make the island an enthralling and alluring place.
Q2. How does the poet contrast city life with life in natural surroundings?
Ans:- Although the poet does not describe the city life in detail, his obsession to go to the beautiful island full of pleasing sights and sounds makes it clear that he wants to leave the noisy life in the city and lead a simple life. The contrast between the crowded cities and the calm, natural surroundings of Innisfree justifies his desire.
The description of green glades and pastures, along with birds and insects singing on Innisfree stand in contrast to the dull looking roadways and pavements that are full of vehicles and people. This contrast hints at the noise pollution and congestion in cities.
Further, the picture of the island surrounded by the calm water of the lake and its gentle waves present a beautiful sight. In contrast, people in cities are lost in a race of accumulating material possessions. The fewer needs of people living close to nature indicate greater contentment as compared to the city dwellers’ never-ending chase of wealth and material possessions. The poet’s urge to return to natural surroundings for a peaceful life hints at the problems and restlessness of people in cities.
Thus, the poet contrasts every aspect of city life with the life in natural surroundings that are full of pleasure, contentment and peace.
Q3. What ideas do you form the personality of the poet from the poem?
Discuss the character of the speaker in the poem.
Which values of life do the poet support?
Ans:-The poet W. B. Yeats who himself is the speaker in “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” gives us a peep into his mind and soul. His desire to return to a peaceful, quiet, and natural place, away from the bustle of urban life, brings forth the positive values that govern his life. In the poem, he emerges as a peace-loving fellow who is sick of the hectic, restless, noisy and materialistic life of the cities.
He emerges as a profound lover of natural beauty and tranquillity. His strong nostalgia for the beautiful sights and sounds on the Lake Isle and his desire to lead a simple life of unbroken solitude and peace on the island reveal the simplicity of his heart and mind.
The poet is endowed with profound imagination and sensitive observation. With very keen senses, he sees, observes and presents the beauty of the island in the morning, in the noontime, in the evening, and even in the midnight. He can hear the sounds of the bees, the cricket, the linnet, and the sea-waves. He can visualize the tranquil glade, the glimmering light of the midnight and the purple glow of the afternoon. He can also hear the loud, unpleasant sounds of the traffic in cities and contrast it with the captivating and soothing music of the waves.
Further, the poet lacks a materialistic attitude towards life. He wants to evade the hectic activities of the materialistic life of the cities and live in a small cabin of clay and wattles. He wants to have only enough to fulfil the basic needs of life.
Thus, the poet comes forth as a person with a profound imagination, minute observation, strong memories and a deep love for nature. He is inspired by the values of contentment and harmony.
Q4. How can we make our lives enjoyable? Discuss with reference to the poem “The Lake Isle of Innisfree”.
Ans:-The world is full of beauty and pleasures. It has a rich feast for our eyes, ears, noses and tongue. God has provided us with beautiful sights and sounds. But it is regrettable that we have only added misery into our lives by being blind to the beauties of the world. We have become much too materialistic and are always lost in a race for more and more riches. We do not have time to enjoy calmly the beauties of nature. We have even spoilt natural surroundings in the name of development. As William Wordsworth beautifully wrote: “The world is too much with us”; we have cut off our bond with nature.
However, we may enjoy a tranquil life if we check our desires. We must realize that contentment is a source of real happiness. We must curtail our greed, jealousy and hatred. A life of simple needs, near the beautiful surroundings of nature away from the madding crowd of cities can give us soothing delights.
Love for nature, faith in God, and affection for fellow human beings can restore the peace of our minds. We should develop a keen sense to perceive beauty all around and spare time to enjoy these beauties. The soft feelings of pity, sympathy, consideration, kindness, and affection can overpower all the sorrows of life and make life thrilling and pleasant.
Q5. The Isle of Innisfree is both a place and the poet’s state of mind. Discuss. (Textual)
Ans:-The Isle of Innisfree is a tiny uninhabited island within the Lake Lough Gill in County Sligo in northwestern Ireland. The poet, William Butler Yeats, had spent his summers over here when he was a young boy. The calm, quiet, soothing environment of this Isle impressed him so much that he developed a spiritual kinship with this place. He can now hear voices calling within himself just as he heard the sounds of nature in Innisfree. The existence of Innisfree as the poet’s state of m ind is as true as the real Innisfree. The images of this place haunt the poet in such a manner that he can visualize everything not in his mind but in his heart. The real place has given him such beautiful memories that he cherishes them even when he is amidst the roadways and pavements of a city. His desire to escape to Innisfree is so strong that his thoughts are overpowered by it. Thus, the poet’s state of mind itself Innisfree which stands as a symbol of peaceful existence amidst nature.
Q6. Suppose you are the poet W.B. Yeats and have reached your dreamland – the Isle of Innisfree. Write a diary entry in about 150 words expressing your real experiences and emotions.
In your diary entry, you should say
- how you felt immediately as you landed on the Isle
- what sights and sounds you experienced there
- what effect they had on you
(Day and Date) (Time)
I am extremely delighted that my dream of coming back to the Isle of Innisfree has been fulfilled. I have actually reached this idyllic world far away from the disturbing and restless life of London. My first glimpse of the island was extremely fulfilling. As I landed on the green, grassy place, I inhaled the fragrant, refreshing air. I felt as if I were in some fairyland. I ran about enjoying the sight of dense green trees and then sat down to bask in the brilliant sunlight. The rustling of the leaves, the chirping of the birds and the beautiful hues of flowers left me spellbound. I heard the soft music of the waves which, reflecting the sunlight, looked extremely beautiful as they hit the shore and made ripples. I had a nap on the open ridge. In the evening, the linnets, fluttering their wings in the sky, were a breathtaking sight. From under a rock, some crickets were singing. Tonight, I will sleep under the stars and tomorrow I’ll build a cottage for myself.
Everything on this island seems to be heavenly. Every moment spent here is a blessing. After coming here I have realised that the race for money can never give me any pleasure. The environment here is full of contentment and happiness. I wish I had come here earlier. But better late than never!
Q7. Life in a city is fast and hectic. Nevertheless, people prefer to live in a city. Why?
Ans. City life is fast and hectic. People can be seen busy with their daily routines. Lots of people live in the city. There are schools, colleges and offices. Students find a good opportunity for education and make their career. When they complete their education they can find jobs in these offices. Besides, people get recreation from different sources. There are cinema halls and theatres in cities. People in great number can be seen at these places. They want to give the same life to their children. They get their children married in the cities and have relatives. They have a liking for the showy life of the city. So they like to live in these cities with their family.
Q8. Why is the poet deeply attached with the Lake Isle of Innisfree? Explain.
Ans. Innisfree is a simple island in the lake where the poet has spent his childhood days. The poet is in search of peace and calmness which the Lake Isle of Innisfree can provide him. The environment is natural and peaceful and the poet desires to visit this island. According to the poet, on this island, peace comes down slowly in the small drops. Moreover, he is very much attracted by the melodious sounds made by cricket. In fact, that sound has a deep impact on the poet. The poet believes the lake’s waves hit the shore and crease at the low sound which gives aesthetic pleasure. Really, he wants to live on this island. Thus, it can be said that he is deeply attached to the Lake Isle of Innisfree.
Q9. What moral lesson do you take from the poem, ‘The Lake Isle Innisfree’?
Ans. ‘Go back to nature’ is the message of this poem. This poem teaches us that we should build a cabin in a solitary place and enjoy nature. Nature has magical power. Obviously, nature unfolds itself in a solitary place and allows us to enjoy its music. We must take this immortal lesson from this poem.
Q10. Why is the Lake Isle of Innisfree so attractive to the poet? Describe.
Ans. The poet is very fond of nature. The Lake Isle of Innisfree is the abode of peace. He wants to live in a place which may afford a sense of contentment and relaxation far from busy modern life. The poet with his power of imagination beautifully empresses this dreamy land. The vivid description of the colours and beauties of this place and soothing stir of nature is quite different from the strident noise of the city.