. . . One hundred thousand welcomes and a Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you!
I always read Yeats on St. Patrick’s Day. I had the good fortune to visit Ireland just before my senior year of college and take a class. How could you not fall in love with Yeats as you read his poems on the shores of Innisfree?
Reading Yeats, I can almost believe that there is real magic in the world. He writes of faeries and legends, places and people so old that the only way to know about them is through story. And I’m transported. I’m sure I read somewhere a description of a place feeling heavy with time and history. That is the way I felt being in some of those quiet places we visited like Innisfree or Thoor Ballylee—like the air was thicker, heavier, suppressing the sound. My 19-year old self was very caught up in the romance of it all, surrounded by the history and magic of the place. Ah, to be 19 again!
Thoor Ballylee, Yeats’ tower house (not a bad place to be a writer, eh?)
In honor of St. Patrick’s day and W.B. Yeats, here is my favorite poem
The Lake Isle of Innisfree
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 from the veils of the morning to where the
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.