My favourite Irish "party piece" poem

We had some wonderful parties when I was little. Everyone would take it in turns to entertain; to sing, to recite or to dance. You don't have to wait until Saint Patrick's Day to start this tradition in your own families and, when you do, consider something by WB Yeats. The wonderful lyricism of the language appeals to every audience and the simplicity of his visions will delight.



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 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.


Whether it is Innisfree, Indiana or Italy that you dream of, this poem will resonate. A moment of calm and reflection within a sea of sparkling shamrocks, green hats and plastic shillelaghs!


The photo is of the place I remember when the chaos of Causeway Bay is too much...

Happy Saint Patricks Day... Beannachtaí na Féile Pádraig! Slán.

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