Study Guide

The Lake Isle of Innisfree Speaker

By William Butler Yeats


This city-dweller is longing for a peaceful escape. No, that's not a personal ad. It's just a brief description of our speaker.

Though it might be a bad idea to assume the speaker is male just because Yeats is male, it's difficult not to make parallels, knowing a bit of Yeats's history. He grew up visiting Innisfree but lived most of his life in cities.

But if you get a female vibe from the poem, there's certainly no harm in reading it that way either. The important thing is to note the speaker's tone: dreamy, nostalgic, longing for a place very different from the one he or she is currently in.

This speaker is fed up with the hustle and bustle and wants to retire to the country life. Fresh honey, anyone?