Study Guide

The Lake Isle of Innisfree Home

By William Butler Yeats


And build a small cabin there, of clay and wattles made: (2)

Well there's one way to find your home—build it. If you're not at home in the city, feel free to go make your own from scratch. That way it's totally to your liking.

Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee; (3)

Again, more home-making. He wants to stake his claim on the land by cultivating it, and that's definitely harder to do in the city. When's the last time you saw someone growing beans in a dark alley?

And live alone in the bee-loud glade. (4)

By the first stanza, the speaker has fully established his dream home. He wants to be alone out in the wilderness and become self-sufficient. Well, he'll have some bees for company. But that's about it.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore; (9-10)

Here we learn that the speaker is constantly reminded of the sounds of the place he feels is his home. He's homesick—for a home that doesn't yet exist.

While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core. (11-12)

No matter how far the speaker is from Innisfree, he feels drawn to it from deep inside himself. It's almost as if he's always there. So maybe he already is home—at least in his mind.