Poem introduction

I am going to begin with a poem of mine called 'The Lake Isle of Innisfree' because if you know anything about me you will expect me to begin with it. It is the only poem of mine which is very widely known. When I was a young lad in the town of Sligo I read Thoreau's essays and wanted to live in a hut on an island in Lough Gill called Innisfree which means 'Heather Island'. I wrote the poem in London when I was about twenty three: one day in The Strand I heard a little tinkle of water and saw in a shop window a little jet of water balancing a ball on the top - it was an advertisement, I think, for cooling drinks - but it set me thinking of Sligo and lake water. I think there is only one obscurity in the poem - I speak of noon as a 'purple glow' - I must have meant by that the reflection of heather in the water.

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