The Ineffable Name

“Too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words;”

or, “not to be uttered.”


That is the definition of “Ineffable” according to Webster’s Dictionary.


It’s also the word Yeats uses in his poem To Some I have Talked with by the Fire


It is dark but beautiful. Here is the bulk of the poem:


…My heart would brim with dreams about the times

When we bent down above the fading coals

And talked of the dark folk who live in souls

Of passionate men, like bats in the dead trees;

And of the wayward twilight companies

Who sigh with mingled sorrow and content,

Because their blossoming dreams have never bent

Under the fruit of evil and of good:

And of the embattled flaming multitude

Who rise, wing above wing, flame above flame,

And, like a storm, cry the Ineffable Name


The imagery of souls as being like “bats in dead trees” is so interesting.  The souls are very much alive and are hanging on to something very much close to being dead.  So many of us, all of us at one point or another, feel like dead trees…barely hanging on to survive. 

There is so much to consider in this work – such as the “companies who sigh” because their dreams have never “bent under the fruit of evil and of good.” This seems to reflect upon the person who has dreams, but never dared to fulfill them…never dared to live them…

And then we come to the Ineffable Name.  What is he referring to here?  Most critics suggest that he is probably referring to Irish Republicanism, and how the phrase ‘Republic of Eire’ was not allowed to be uttered in Ireland at that time. And the ‘Embattled flaming Multitude’ referrs to those fighting for the Irish Republicans fighting against England for liberty.

And that is probably what he is referring to here.

But there is another allusion that can be drawn from that line.

We are all an embattled flaming multitude, aren’t we?  We all fight against the darkness that tries to prevail itself upon us, don’t we? We all get broken by the world and the evil therein, and find ourselves in “wayward companies.” However…there is hope. There is an Ineffable Name that we can cry.  There is the name of one who gives us the strength and courage to “rise, wing above wing.” There is One that is truly too great to be expressed in words.  And this One longs to bring hope and joy…and liberty… to the souls of passionate men, and wayward companies, and the embattled flaming multitude.  

Like the Irish Republicans, we have our own fight for liberty don’t we?  Thanks to the Ineffable Name, we can rise and, like the storm, cry out…

Heart Images – Yeats

I found another great poem this morning, again by Yeats. He’s quickly becoming one of my favorites. 


The poem is titled The Lover mourns for the Loss of Love


Pale brows, still hands and dim hair,

I had a beautiful friend

And dreamed that the old despair

Would end in love in the end:

She looked in my heart one day

And saw your image was there;

She has gone weeping away.


I love the image Yeats paints of his beautiful friend – pale brows and dim hair don’t usually get tagged as beautiful.  But he does so here.  I wonder why.


But more importantly,  this poem got me thinking about what is in my heart – about who is in my heart.  If someone looked in my heart whose face would they see?  

It sounds cheesy, but this poem makes me think of Jesus – how he longs to find himself in our hearts.  How it must hurt him when he doesn’t find his image there.  


I think Jesus is a lover who mourns the loss of love too. 


The one difference, though, is that He doesn’t go weeping away.  He stays there.  Always hoping.  Always wooing.  Always yearning to be believed and trusted and accepted and written on our hearts. 


Even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning; rend your hearts, not your clothes. Return to the Lord, your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and relents from punishing.  Joel 2:12-13 (Emphasis added)


God Saw the Priest

Read a great poem this morning – ‘The Ballad of Father Gillian’ by Yeats.  I love the language in it.


It’s a poem about an old Irish Priest who is tired because much of his flock is dying from famine.  He is weary from all the death.  The priest is called in the wee hours to go to the bedside of a dying man, but falls asleep before he goes.  He later wakes up and rushes to the house, only to find the man had already died.  But instead of being discouraged or angry at himself for this, he takes it as a blessing from God.  God knew he couldn’t handle any more death.  God saw the priest…


This is the way the poem ends…


‘He Who hath made the night of stars

For souls who tire and bleed,

Sent one of His great angels down

To help me in my need.


‘He Who is wrapped in purple robes,

With planets in His care,

Had pity on the least of things,

Asleep upon a chair.’


“Just a cry to the wilds…”

So I am finishing up a paper I am working on for my Urban Anthropology class…and on comes a song that i've always loved, but never really considered before. I heard the word 'wonderstruck' in the lyrics, and it jumped out to me – so I looked up the lyrics and I found one of the most beautiful and haunting poems put to song I've heard.??

David Gray has been one of my favorite artists for about 10 years, ever since I heard the song "Babylon" when it first came out.??

His uniquely soothing yet raspy voice, his guitar and piano driven melodies, and especially his lyrics are what first attracted me to his music.??

But this slow, poetic song is pure tragic brilliance, lyrically and musically. Check it out…it's off one of his older albums Sell, Sell, Sell. Below are the lyrics that i'll probably be thinking about the rest of the day.

"Only The Lonely"


I'm raising up my voice
To the wall and to the sky
It seeks no explanation
It waits for no reply
Really it is nothing
Just a cry to the wilds

I'm delirious with chaos
I'm wonderstruck with awe
In my soul I'm dreaming only
Of your velvet shore
When I'm walking there my face
Untangles like a child

And only the lonely
Only the lonely
Lonely could know me

I've been talking all night long
There's nothing more to say
So I'm searching every mirror
For a trace of yesterday
But the air it holds no traces
Where the eagles were flying

I'm haunted by the skyline
The concrete and the rain
The window speaks of winter
So I'll set my heart again
Somewhere in the dust??
A curlew is crying

And only the lonely
Only the lonely
Lonely could know me
I'm talking all night long
Talking all night

There's a copper moon that's buried
Where solitude expands
And distant planets moving
They're weighing on my hands
They're darkening my pages

And there's daylight in my fingers
But it's snowing in my bones
Been sucking on the echo
Of a thousand telephones
And when we meet again
We will be strangers

And only the lonely
Only the lonely
Lonely could know me
And only the lonely
Only the lonely
Lonely could know me??

Poem for a Rainy Day

I read this one a few days ago. I think it’s appropriate for a day such as this.


A pity beyond all telling

Is hid in the heart of love:

The folk who are buying and selling,

The clouds on their journey above,

The cold wet winds ever blowing,

And the shadowy hazel grove

Where mouse-grey waters are flowing,

Threaten the head that I love.


             –The Pity of Love  by W.B. Yeats


Okla. Woman Asking To Keep Disabled Kangaroo – Family News Story – WGAL The Susquehanna Valley

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — An Oklahoma woman suffering from depression has found solace in the company of an unusual companion, but local city officials worry that the therapy pet – a partially paralyzed kangaroo – could become a public safety risk.

Christie Carr is seeking an exemption from the Broken Arrow City Council to keep Irwin, a 25-pound great red kangaroo that she cares for much like a child. Irwin rides in a car seat, is dressed in a shirt and pants each day and is rarely away from his doting caretaker.

At the advice of her therapist, Carr began volunteering at a local animal sanctuary, where she met Irwin, then just a baby. Less than a week later, the kangaroo named for famed Australian animal expert Steve Irwin ran into a fence, fracturing his neck and causing severe brain damage.

Carr volunteered to take the animal home and, while nursing him back to health, developed a bond. Irwin cannot stand or walk on his own, although he is slowly gaining back mobility and can hop three or four times in a row with assistance, she said.

“Irwin will not live if I have to give him up,” Carr said, adding that she would rather leave town. “I can’t imagine a day living without him.”

Native to Australia, healthy male great red kangaroos can grow up to 7 feet tall, weigh more than 200 pounds and bound 25 feet in a single leap. But because of his accident, Irwin isn’t expected to get larger than 50 pounds, his veterinarian, Dr. Lesleigh Cash Warren, wrote in a letter to the council supporting Carr’s request to keep him.

Neutering has also lessened any chance he will become aggressive.

“Irwin cannot be judged as any normal kangaroo,” Warren wrote. “He is a unique animal due to his disabilities and will require a lifetime of care and concern for his welfare.”

Carr, who is unable to work because of her health, changes Irwin’s diaper several times a day. She feeds him salad, raw veggies, kangaroo chow, popcorn and the occasional Cheez-Its or a handful of Cheetos.

The marsupial never leaves the house without first getting dressed. The clothes – a little boy’s shirt cut and sewed to accommodate his neck, sometimes a tie, and jeans or slacks with a hole cut for the tail- are necessary for therapeutic reasons and to protect him against germs, Carr said.

The 1-year-old animal never leaves Carr’s side for more than an hour, often accompanying her on errands and going out to eat. He rides in a car seat before being placed in a pouch when going out in public. Carr’s therapist certified the animal as a therapy pet under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Broken Arrow Mayor Mike Lester said he worries what could happen if Irwin is able to regain full mobility. The council last week delayed considering the issue until an April 19 meeting, to give City Attorney Beth Anne Wilkening and other staff time to research the issue.

“There’s just a myriad of things we need to consider,” Lester said.

Every exception made sets a precedent, and the council must take that into consideration, Wilkening said. The council may decide to create an exotic animal review committee that would look at each animal on a case-by-case basis, he said.

Broken Arrow Nursing Home owner Joanna Cooper said she doesn’t understand why keeping Irwin has become an issue. Carr has brought Irwin to the nursing home in the past for residents to hold and pet. Several residents of the nursing home plan to attend the upcoming council meeting with signs to show their support for Carr and Irwin.

“Why are people giving her problems when people have tigers and pit bulls?” Copper said.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

It’s good even the disabled Kangaroos have caregivers…

Plastic Surgery for a Pig?

Boris, a 3-year-old pet pig who hails from Rosewater, Australia, is about to get a brow lift ??? and it???s not for cosmetic reasons, the Portside Messenger reported.

The 550-pound family pet pig has been losing weight, and as a result, his excess skin is drooping over his eyes and now he can???t see.

Boris will be carried to the vet in his hometown by a horse float.

???We???ve had to let him put weight back on so he can see a bit,??? said his owner, Graeme Cane.

When Cane and his wife Julie bought Boris, they were told he was a miniature breed and wouldn???t grow to be more than 132 pounds.

Boris was the runt of his litter ??? he used to walk under the belly of the Cane???s family dog, Boof.

Now, Boris enjoys being the town celebrity, and although he sometimes brings mud into the house, the Canes said the pig is toilet-trained and ???cleaner than the dogs.??? 

Click here to read more about Boris from the Portside Messenger.

Say whaaaa???

In Rainbows = in the Zone.

Chris and I were discussing Radiohead albums on our Podcast ( – check it out, it’s fun).  It got me thinking about checking out some newer Radiohead material. As it turns out, that was a good idea on my part.


My study music of the night is the Radiohead album In Rainbows.  It’s great – interesting, melodic, soothing – basically a great soundtrack to study to. Check it.  It gets me in the zone.