By Bernie Bell
I was thinking – I need to find some peace. And I was thinking of W.B. Yeats’ poem ‘Lake Isle of Innisfree’.
I can’t ‘arise and go’ to Innisfree, but I can go to Stenness, and ‘hear lake-water lapping with low sounds by the shore.’
The Lake Isle of Innisfree
By William Butler Yeats
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 honey-bee;
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 grey,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.
My favourite poem by my favourite poet
Many years ago – and I mean many – well over 40, I knew someone who had a recording of Yeats reciting this. Can you imagine it? It rolled off his tongue. Sometimes I try to recite it in the same way – Mike hears me and thinks ‘Yeats is in the house.”
That would be a bit worrying – a fine poet, but a bit worryingly weird.
Hey – this time it’s me that had a close encounter – kind of.
And there’s ‘The Stolen Child’ –
“Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.”