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Tuesday, 3 September 2013

W. B. Yeats: The Lake Isle of Innisfree (A Poetry Comic by Nora Sawyer)


Yeats' Lake Isle of Innisfree: a poetry comic by Nora Sawyer, from Nora Sawyer, 25 August 2013

Lough Gill, County Sligo, Ireland: photochrome view, c. 1900; image by Snapshots of the Past, 8 January 2007

W. B. Yeats (1865-1939): The Lake Isle of Innisfree, 1888, from The Countess Kathleen and Various Legends and Lyrics, 1892


TC said...

Mr Yeats was so delighted with Nora's brilliant interpretation of his poem that he decided to read it aloud, to be shared by all the world... which includes even us.

W. B. Yeats reads The Lake Isle of Innisfree and other poems



Great to see the speaker of Mr. Yeats' great poem transformed into a large black bear, and to hear him here, reading it "with great emphasis upon the rhythm" once again. . .

Wooden Boy said...

Thank you to Ms Sawyer and Mr Yeats and Mr Clark.

"And live alone in the bee loud glade".

It's the first time this line has struck me with force. Something in Nora's take.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the peace, for the reminder of the deep heart's core and the rhythm


ACravan said...

Such a pleasure to find this visually and aurally satisfying piece. I'm certain that this recording of Yeats reading this poem was the first time I ever heard an actual poet reading poetry aloud (it was a long time ago -- possibly when I was in grade school) and it left as lasting an impression on me as the record my parents bought me of Basil Rathbone reading The Speckled Band and some other Sherlock Holmes stories, which is to say a very deep and lasting impression. Lovely to encounter this also on a beautiful, hot Chester County, PA afternoon where we just walked by a lake. No bears, but some nice dogs and definitely bees. Curtis

TC said...

Nora's wondrous bear has escaped Yosemite at just the right time.

And dived straight into poetry.

The Lake Isle of Innisfree, as a place, is an island in Lough Gill, County Sligo.

The Lake Isle of Innisfree, as a fantasy concept conjured by this extremely famous poem, has entered Western mythology as a kind of Instant Nirvana Machine, the magical phrase beckoning with appropriately vague promise from its honoured place in the gloaming underwood of escapist literature, always ready to be summoned for purposes of rapture-creation.

As such it is a Dream Without Borders.

Therefore it's perhaps less anomalous than one might at first have imagined when the piece is performed with strong feeling by young persons in... Oklahoma.

The swelling ascending chords in the Eleanor Daley setting of Willy's Cloudy Classic find their objective correlative (as it were) in the moment of anticipation writ upon the radiant visage of the young person in the blue dress immediately preceding the ecstatic lift on "I will arise.." at 1:55.

It's the crowning moment in the Oklahoma Celtic Twilight of Fuzzy Universal Elation.

The Lake Isle of Innisfree, Eleanor Daley arr., performed by 2009 Oklahoma All-OMEA Mixed Chorus (Oklahoma All-State Choir)

tpw said...

Dear T: I hope Madame Blavatsky doesn't come after you for this post.

TC said...


When she came roaring around the corner waving that rolling pin, I should have realized it wasn't Scarlett Johansson!

Nora said...

Ack! I'm glad uncanny valley is just a myth. Otherwise, Madame Blavatsky might be alarming.

Curtis Faville said...

When my son Randy died in 1996, I read this over his grave, since it was his favorite poem.

So it has a somewhat more serious association for me.

Seamus Heaney died recently. People have been arguing over his literary merit. Coming from a tradition like his, it's a bit more difficult to mark out your own territory, than it is in America, where almost anything goes.

Can we make effective comic books out of great poems? Dave Morice thinks so, and has done it.

Nora said...

Curtis, I'm so sorry to hear about your son. What a wonderful poem to read as tribute -- he and I have a favorite in common.