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The Lake Isle of Innisfree

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

by William Butler Yeats

Home Theme

Home is where the heart is, right? So while the speaker of "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" appears to live in a city, it seems that in "his heart's core," home is somewhere entirely different, and he's obsessed with getting there. If we can pull anything from Yeats's biography, we might imagine that this is idyllic spot on Innisfree is a place from the speaker's childhood. And hey, maybe that's how the speaker defines home—as an idealized spot in his memory of a childhood he longs to return to.

Questions About Home

  1. Why do you think the speaker would feel more at home in the country? What could be making him feel uncomfortable in his current setting? 
  2. Do you think this would be a permanent or merely temporary move for the speaker? What makes you say that?
  3. What is it about Innisfree in particular that the speaker seems so drawn to? 

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The speaker is just dreaming of a vacation home, he doesn't actually want to live there. He's sittin' pretty in the city.

The speaker is just dreaming, period. He's reminiscing about the past but will never follow through with his plans to leave the city. We know this because he makes no actual progress in the poem, despite his seeming determination.

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