Evoking the Yarragh

  • R. Scott Appleby
Part of the Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies book series (RCS)


Appleby reflects on a meeting with musician Van Morrison, noting the incongruity between the spiritual depth of his music and the artist’s disagreeable temperament. He observes how many contributors to the volume describe artists evoking deeper visions of reality that are simultaneously harrowing and hopeful. He compares this to a Yarragh, a term which Yeats used to describe a cry of the heart, a haunting and haunted sound that can be found in Irish song and poetry. Appleby ponders whether an artist’s evocation of the Yarragh might give expression to Jungian archetypes or common primordial perceptions of humankind. He concludes by reflecting on how encounters with the ineffable can instill hope in the midst of suffering, and set our souls on a journey back to full humanity.


Yarragh Soul Van Morrison Archetype Music Moral imagination 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Scott Appleby
    • 1
  1. 1.Keough School of Global AffairsUniversity of Notre DameNotre DameUSA

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