Ah, the velvet silence found deep in an ancient grove. Listen carefully and you might catch the muted roar of distant ocean breakers.
A long way from Yeats’ Ireland is the Oregon Coast, but the heart’s cry is the same. Who among us does not long for the peace of such a place? And yet peace is fleeting and its tranquil pulse difficult to capture, even for a poet. “It gave me a devil of a lot of trouble to get into verse,” Yeats says.
Good writing is like that. It’s timeless and honest and true. And anything but easy.
The Lake Isle of Innisfree
W. B. Yeats, 1865 – 1939
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.
Have a minute? Listen as Yeats reads his poetry. With off-the-cuff commentary, which for the writer is gold.