Monday, April 02, 2012

Nine bean-rows,,,

There is a restaurant on East Front Street in Traverse City called "nine bean rows".  It's a very, very tiny restaurant - I doubt they could seat a dozen people.  I have often wondered about the name of this place. It didn't make much sense to me until I ran across this poem by William Butler Yeats:

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

William Butler Yeats (1893)

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 honeybee,
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 mourning 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.

Innisfree sounds like a very peaceful place.  And since this restaurant is on the banks of the Boardman River, and very near West Bay, I imagine that they can hear "water lapping with low sounds by the shore".  We have never stopped in there to sample their offerings, but I'm thinking that we should.