William Butler Yeats wrote “The Lake Isle of Innisfree,” one of his most famous and widely-anthologized works, in 1888. The poem gets its title from a very small, uninhabited island that sits in Lough Gill, a lake in Yeats’s home county of Sligo, Ireland. The speaker of this pastoral poem longs to build a simple life on Innisfree, finding peace through communion with nature. However, it becomes clear that ties to city life prevent the speaker from realizing this dream. The young poet’s fixation on questions of spirituality and Irish identity is felt in this poem, which also contains the sort of archaic language that he would later abandon and decry. Following an ABAB rhyme scheme and loosely iambic meter, the poem’s seemingly neat, concise structure belies its complex networks of rhythm and sound, which are responsible for much of its visceral impact and enduring popularity.